If I am friends with someone, I want their feed unless I explicitly turn it off. But then I remember that I am not the customer, I am the product.
For I don't think the problem is that my less garrulous friends aren't writing about their lives, but rather that some stupid machine learning algorithm has decided on my behalf that I don't wish to hear from them because I don't tend to reply to or "like" the things they post. I know this because I occasionally seek their facebook pages out and find out what I've been missing.
And still, blatant tangent, I can't edit my Facebook updates from the mobile client.
That IMO is an example of the true robot apocalypse: a bunch of "performance enhancements" and marching moron machine learning algorithms that pass A/B tests by some ill-conceived metric and get inflicted on us all to improve shareholder value by Google, Facebook et al.
Facebook isn't alone here: On my Android phone, Google Now was initially useful. It provided location-dependent weather, stock information, time/date-sensitive commute information along with occasional bits of news that related to frequent search terms. If only they'd stopped there. Recently, they "improved" it with a new ridiculously white-spaced layout (WTF is up with whitespacing a 6" screen anyway?) and a tsunami of distracting trivia about anything I had searched for in recent months and nearly every place I had driven, even #%$%ing gas stations and one-time doctor appointments. Obviously, this also passed some sort of A/B test to make it into production, but all it made me do was factory reset my phone and turn off nearly every feature of Google Now.
And that's why IMO people are opting for relatively simpler systems like Instagram and Twitter.
Google Now saddens me, since the obvious focus is now data collection (same goes for Fit), instead of working on the platform more (battery drain and memory leaks in Lollipop and they haven't even address it publicly after 3 months).
And there are dozens of entire teams working on platform issues.
I get privacy-conscious people wanting to avoid leaking personal information, but I don't get those same people wanting personally-relevant services without providing that information.
It's constantly gotten better with things like "Followers vs Friends", Facebook pushing comments from your friends to the top, Facebook collecting "Shares" towards the top of your feed, lists, displaying links in a more attractive way, etc.
And tastemakers and power users are using it more than ever.
I don't know of any other way to stay connected to the things that matter other than Facebook. Twitter is just a noisy stream of links and quips that you can't keep up with. Linkedin is just awful.
Reddit, HN and things like Techmeme are pretty much the only other places where the curation around topics are really good.
Todo: Get extended family on email list and delete Facebook.
Bands? subscribe to YouTube channels or twitter or mailing lists or what else , your friends? Call them. IT? Come here or use Reddit. This is just over simplification of it, I have ten times more interests than that, and it's not at all hard to manage them without Facebook. You could use some browsers specifically designed with integration of content as their primary feature, I don't remember the names but at some point I've tried a couple and was really impressed.
But again, most importantly, are you really ok with selling yourself for ANY hypothetical advantage FB platform could offer. I never would...
I can understand that Facebook might be a good way to keep in touch with acquaintances, but if you use it to keep in touch with friends that's what they'll soon become: mere acquaintances. Exchanging a few typed words every now and than isn't enough.
Also: nice ad hominem on the "not very many", please try to keep it civil on hackernews.
Yes. Not for profit YouTube who doesn't advertise. Twitter? Really?
I never said that those alternatives are ad-free, but at least they are operating in a different way.
Google may know my current location, which bands and pizzas I like, my job, all I've searched so far, and even does automatically scan my mail to put some targeted ads in it. Ok, but at least formally, they offer me the chance to opt out from all of that: don't track my position, don't save a chronology of my search history, don't do targeted ads, ...
Speaking of Twitter, they are probably analyzing the hell out of my tweets too, but by design Twitter it's much less all-around-every-aspect-of-your-life than FB. Can you really compare the quantity and the granularity of personal and private information that FB is admittedly collecting with Twitter's?
Honestly they have a much clearer business model too: pay them some money, they'll put your hashtags in trending topics. That's it. Moreover being that Twitter is mainly used as a public communication system - and was born like that right from the start - I couldn't care less if they analyzed what I was saying because that's how advertisement has always worked! If I decided to publicly express my love for baking cakes and the day after I was presented with an advertisement for a baking course in my city, then that'd be perfectly fine. Go around and shout out loud "I love dogs!" Sooner or later someone will approach you trying to sell you a dog. That's supply and demand. It's always worked like that and there's nothing wrong with it.
Of course, what Google and FB might illegally be doing under their hoods it's a totally different concern...
Here we are speaking about how FB is publicly and explicitely perpetrating this behaviour and how dangerous it can be not only to the uninformed ones who go by the "I have nothing to hide" argument but to their friends/relatives which don't even own a FB account.
So all I was saying is: is it worth it, given what we know about FB and that there are some least worst alternatives (even by a small degree) ? No, not even for a second. And we should start exploring those alternatives.
And the following quote from @jasonbarone, which I had originally replied to, explains exactly why:
>"I don't know of any other way to stay connected to the things that matter other than Facebook."
That's not an accurate assessment. The key here might be "while actively using the service".
You cannot opt out of such things while in Gmail, for example, any more than you can opt out of Facebook intelligence while using Facebook.
I'm using Facebook as my primary listening tool to follow things/people.
Your solution is for me to use a browser or an aggregation tool of some sort. Facebook already does that very well, and has apps for all major platforms.
If at some point there's a better tool, I'll use it, and I'll stop using Facebook. But there's not. If that happens, and Facebook hoards a database entry of my lists of likes and communication, that's cool.
Which is to say, Facebook is dead, but it is also very much alive and kicking
Making a profit is the nature of business. Requiring payment in giving up privacy and control over your perception as the only options is not, and being a monopoly also is not.
"They all failed or will fail since the point of the 'party' is having everybody attend and attend all at once."
That is exactly why facebook must be faught, the name economics has for this is "network externality" - the monopolization of a dominant communication system by one entity has a cost for those who don't participate, which is not acceptable.
Also, you might want to consider that "having everybody attend and attend all at once" technically does not require a monopoly. The telephone network, for example, is also one telephone network where every participant can call every other participant, but still, there are multiple telcos offering access to the network, competing with one another. Something similar is true for most traditional internet services, and the internet itself. Every machine on the internet can send packets to every other machine on the internet, but there are plenty of providers to choose from. You can send email from every email account to every other, but there are plenty of email providers, and it's relatively easy to open your own. Every website hosted anywhere can be read by anyone, not matter which provider they connect through ... all of those technologies allow you access through one single telephone, email client, and web browser, but there is no single entity that controls all of it, and that is vital in order to avoid an unhealthy concentration of power that in the end is likely to affect not just those who choose to use facebook, but all of society.
Why the war talk? Can't people who are willing to accept Facebook's terms just use it, while those who are unwilling refrain from using Facebook?
Now, what should I do about my friends posting my photo and personal details such that Facebook creates a shadow profile of me without my permission?
It "prevents" the individual from going outside because that individual has precluded the idea of going outside due to the possibility of being tracked/photographed.
I.e. Nothing about being tracked/photographed "prevents" an individual from going outside. But that, combined with an individual that fears/hates/morally_objects_to such a thing, makes it so that that individual is compelled to not go outside, lest they be forced to subject themselves to the thing they object to.
Additionally, it's not about "making people do things", and being not powerful enough to do so. That's quite an imposing/forceful line of thinking. It's about "thing X bothers me, what peaceful non-violent actions can I do to avoid X affecting me (negatively?)." And yes, making a regulation against X and forcing people to submit to it through the threat of imprisonment is quite violent.
Most people have no idea what modern image recognition and data mining techniques can do, and many don't understand what they are really agreeing to when they let some on-line service scan their address book.
I've never quite figured out how compiling shadow profiles doesn't violate all kinds of data protection laws in at least much of Europe, but our regulators seem to be gunning for Google at the moment rather than Facebook.
But I can't see a situation in which Facebook turning on a mike to record conversations is not a huge violation of privacy.
Do they do that?
FYI, this is mentioned in the article. It also linked to this article on that specific issue:
Short version: It's not as simple as "they record all your conversations", but yes, they can and do turn on your phone's mic.
What would be the benefit for FB to store shadow profiles? If they can't use that data publicly or internally or with advertising partners, why would FB need shadow profiles?
I'm not convinced there's a secret hidden profile page with my details on FB. Unless of course they're planning to use that data one day to try to convince me to sign up to FB... this is about the only reason I can think of for them to have such data. Any other reasons you can think of?
Don't enter any other correct information about you. Just have a look at the suggestions the sign-up wizard will be showing, based on nothing but your e-mail adress. You will be surprised.
(You should immediately delete the account again when you're done if you don't want to stay on facebook. In this case, make sure to clear your cookies.)
"[...], the name economics has for this is "network externality" - the monopolization of a dominant communication system by one entity has a cost for those who don't participate, which is not acceptable."
However, that does not mean that people shouldn't draw attention to what FB is, what it captures and what it does in your name. Nobody reads the "instructions and warning labels" and even if they did, they're not going to comprehend them. Would you then admonish the user to RTFM? I'd call that victim-blaming. How many developers would dare blame the user for not understanding how to use their shiny new web-app? Why take the same approach to those who can't understand a ToS?
FB may be a tool but that's also an oversimplification. It's not anything like a 'hammer', or even a chainsaw. I'd consider it more like a drug (eg morphine), which is also a tool but is not really your friend. Those kinds of tools get regulated.
Which is another way to say that you in fact do have an alternative. People in oppressive regimes tell themselves the same, which is how they do get perpetuated. The change happens when people accept the fact that there is an alternative.
Also: No, an oppressive regime with plenty of people speaking out is not perpetuated. One in a million speaking out is not plenty, and half the people in a country speaking out won't leave the government much choice. That's why oppressive regimes suppress free speech. You cannot control a majority of a country by force.
Just because an individual's action may not amount to much, doesn't mean that there is any other way out than individuals' actions. The oppressor won't just give up, and the other side consists of nothing but individuals, whose inaction certainly won't change anything.
Note: Analogies are analogies because they are analogous, not because they are an exact copy.
I'm more likely to quit the wonnnnderful "free" service you describe and defend because it "costs millions of dollars a month to run". Those millions of dollars are just R&D on how to get advertisers more intimate data. If they didn't pay for all that gross research, the infrastructure wouldn't cost nearly as much.
The only cost are the servers, but certainly, even with facebook's traffic, a well built stack could run on not more than a dozen. So I'd imagine facebook could be run on a few thousands of dollars a month, certainly the costs shouldn't be that much higher than wikipedia's.
The only thing that's valuable in facebook, and hard to replace, is the user-base, which was won through heavy marketing, and having a more attractive product at a critical stage (more attractive =/= technically superior).
If FB's job was once again just to show me my fucking posts, instead of building the most complete profile of a human being in the history of mankind so that it can sell me out to governments and corporations, it seems to me the data load would be a lot lighter.
Of course they do also collect a lot of behavioral data, but I imagine all the data Facebook has collected on me probably uses up less storage than my profile pictures alone...
Hmm, but that's how they make money. They log, they analyze, they show you ads and they sell your data.
Edit: So downvoters, how do I buy data about Facebook users?
In the meantime, find yourself a dodgy intelligence agent or sysadmin.
It's too bad Facebook and Twitter are businesses, instead of multiple protocols and multiple businesses. Or in other words, it's too bad The Old Ones didn't think cat pictures and what they had for breakfast was important. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_pioneers
EDIT: Changed to intended link.
As per , in March 2014 they were handling 20B messages/day (with 600M pics, 100M videos) with just about 550 servers.
My guess would be that, every day more photos are shared on WhatsApp than on FB.
Major difference: At present, WhatsApp does not "keep" your messages or sell "you" to advertisers.
Decentralize all the things.
I agree that p2p social networks are an interesting alternative, but they are a whole different kind of product and a kind of apples / oranges comparison in terms of cost of operation.
Yet, in contrast to the auto industry, no one thought it was great that Ford Pinto gas tanks would explode, or the cops punish people for the crime of "driving while black".
If as a company you insist on business practices or class of business operations that inevitably results in the destruction of any real free market probably via monopolization, you can expect criticism and regulation to at least try to reduce the harm.
P.S. I think around 25% of my coworkers have cars, and we live in the US making six figures.
I let people I work with, family and friends know that if I send out a broadcast email with everyone on a BC blind copy, then they really should not feel obligated to read the email. This allows me to send out general interest emails to a dozen or more people and feel like I am not wasting people's time. I don't use email lists, rather, I spend a minute deciding who might be interested.
This is cumbersome but it gets around problems of Facebook choosing which of your posts they will show your friends.
To toy around with the idea I created a prototype (still far from prime time but already working): http://www.carteggio.ch
Gmail as replacement of FB is a little troublesome solution, I think. Gmail also has his privacy problems, though absolutely not as huge as Facebooks. I think, own (challenging) or paid Mail-providers should be preferred if you really want more privacy. Paid Mail-providers should be able to do the spam-filtering for you.
I'm ultimately envisioning a future where people could host their own Facebooks or set up an account with a family member or small business, seemlessly transfer their data between servers whenever someone wants to switch providers, built-in SSL for everything, PGP with automatic key sharing between friends, encrypted file storage, etc. - everything that tech community advocates for in an easy-to-host-yourself distro.
So much good could come out of having a standardized platform for social media; you just have to be able to overcome Facebook's inertia.
GNU social is web software you can use to run your own social network, either privately or publicly.
The software supports both single-user and community modes and can be used in an intranet environment or as part of the wider GNU social federated social network.
The software has been used in production environments for over five years and is very stable. GNU social also easily communicates with other GNU social servers, and traditional social networks such as Twitter.
Because GNU social is written in the de-facto web standards of PHP and MySQL, it runs virtually anywhere you can run a common piece of web software, such as WordPress or Drupal.
And because GNU social is part of the GNU project, it's 100% free software, with no malicious features, spyware or advertising.
I think you've just described Diaspora.
I still think the concept is amazing, but unfortunately, they kind of failed to deliver.
"Several years ago, when Diaspora hit the big news channels, we hackers should have picked up the slack, joined en masse, building a decent early adopter user base while helping with the code.
What we did instead was bickering about technical aspects of the implementation, pointing at the crudeness, and pretending that 'getting off all social media is the best'. And then we all joined Facebook."
What's needed is software infrastructure to make it easy to build decentralised systems -- everyone should have their own piece of the cloud. On top of that is the need for a compelling use-case (beyond privacy) that will spur word-of-mouth and user adoption. All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.
Something else needs to be built, with a beautiful interface so we get everyone off facebook. I want to help.
I'm not saying it's impossible, but the stickiness and network effects of Facebook are pretty much unprecedented.
I'm not suggesting FB will become obsolete but people will use other services if they see value elsewhere. If that weren't the case then WhatsApp/Instagram wouldn't have grown so fast. Network-effects does not mean something is immune from disruption.
These psychological factors are much more powerful in this field then an engineer's solution.
FB just hit 1.23 billion monthly actives.
AOL peaked at ~26 million [US] subscribers.
FB's network effect is much stronger than AOL ever had.
Also, AOL was heavily dialup-based. Independent ISPs offered broadband at better prices, just as the open web was becoming rich with content. That lured away a lot of AOL customers.
If we had "bandwidth equality" from our homes the paradigm would be quicker to shift, i.e. upload/download speeds the same. That way we could easily host/transfer/share to and from our home located devices/servers.
There user accounts/identities are federated. It is easy to switch to another node.
The "standardized platform" is the ZOT-Protocol layer.
> If you're going to get people to switch, you'll need
> both some killer feature that sets it apart from Facebook
> and some means to mitigate the loss of that user base
Until the house is burning down across the street, it is often difficult to sell fire insurance, and they dont see the massive data mart that fb is.
But I do limit my Likes - I don't Like any ads or commercial entities, with 1 exception - I endorse musicians. Since I am a musician and many of my friends are as well, I Like their music pages.
I don't Like Books/Movies/Games, whatever else. My profile info is relatively sparse and I ignore FB's attempts to make me fill it out further - everything on my profile is already publicly accessible info.
Ultimately I'm useless for marketing data anyway. I've participated in voluntary consumer surveys a few times, and none of the questions were about activities or products I've ever used. I'm so far removed from mainstream/popular culture that there are no advertisers marketing anything of interest to me.
Like shadow profiles of people, Facebook can "infer a like" based on
other information it has about you, like what you read all over the
internet or what you do in apps where you log in with Facebook.
But every time your friends (who know your taste) share with you, it's pretty much the same thing.
(Edit: I'm not suggesting such a market doesn't exist -- I'd just like to know what's actually going on. I'd like to know what's "de facto" practice in the industry.)
There are marketplaces to buy and sell consumer data orginally started around credit agencies and direct mail companies, then growing with the browser toolbar industry when Internet Explorer was big - now they're filled with more information than ever before.
When I worked for a direct marketing arm of the agenccy JWT, we had a bunch of "list augementation" services for our clients' customer lists. Back then, they were used to derive and clean contact information, and glean insights into people's psychology via course methods like correlations to their postal code. (This was surprisingly accurate in Canada, but didn't work as well with US ZIP codes.)
That said, I'd love to hear from a modern insider too. I've just extrapolated.
It's not until we welcome advertising (because it's so aligned with our interests, and it alerts us to things we actually want to buy and do), will we get to the point of the fearmongers.
Do I think this article has a valid point? Of course. Do I think marketers have this wizard of Oz-like power to target us using data? Not yet, but they will in the next 15 years.
It's worth remembering that they will have access to your current data in 15 years; being proactive in the protection of your data now will pay off when marketers catch up with the state of the art.
Also, remember that marketers are not the only consumers of this information. Aside from the government, our "anonymous" profiles are being passed to academic institutions as well, and the results of Facebook's experiments on us are being posted in academic journals.
Additionally, there are the insurance agencies as mentioned in the article - you can bet that they're a lot less than 15 years from using this data against you.
> They use the vast amount of data they have on you, from your likes, things you read, things you type but don't post, to make highly accurate models about who you are -- even if you make it a point of keeping these things secret. It's a technique called linear regression which has been used in marketing for decades.
Oh man, not linear regression! They're really breaking out the high-powered statistical tools aren't they!
> Peter Thiel. He wrote a book attacking multi-culturalism at Stanford
Thiel has since retracted those remarks IIRC.
The following content clearly belongs in a TOS IMHO so implying something nefarious is just ridiculous.
> There's no need to talk hypothetically about government surveillance here. One of the first Facebook investors called Greylock has board connections to a CIA investment firm called In-Q-Tel. According to their website, it "identifies cutting-edge technologies to help the Central Intelligence Agency and the broader US Intelligence Community to further their missions".
Oh man! A company that invested in Facebook about a decade ago has a board member that is a board member of a company that has connections to the CIA! I'm pretty sure that you can say that about literally any large technology company that exists.
Now, I agree that Facebook is funneling data to the NSA and they are building models of your life, but the way that this author makes his points is frankly disgusting. Not to mention the rate of about two typos per paragraph that make the article even harder to read.
I don't agree with that either.
Also note that telecom companies are required to interoperate with other telecom companies.
Free membership: No fee. FB uses your data to run targeted ads.
PRO membership: Monthly fee. Your data is only yours.
The free option is certainly more damaging in some situations, yet the paid option is the one that feels criminal.
Additionally, the value of mined data decreases when you start taking members out. Given the massive number of FB users.
They're generating an avg of almost $1/mo/user, but that's probably heavily skewed towards users that have more money to spend. And while I'd personally spend a few bucks a month for such a service, it's seems unlikely that there'd be enough adoption to make a difference in how FB goes about privacy.
That said, it is possible to use Facebook and insulate yourself. I use a fake name, a fake email and never added my phone number. My use is limited to Groups, Events and Messages - I don't doubt that they are still mining data for my account, but my account doesn't link to me.
I mostly go by a nickname, I haven't yet seen anyone add me to their phone using my real full name - I think only about 10% of the people I know even know my full real name, many just assume my facebook name is my real name. I feel pretty safe.
Just because Google wants "one account ALL of Google", and Facebook wants your real name and Mastercard details, doesn't mean you have to drink their kool-aid and live their grand ONE ID registered member internet life.
Live the way you want to. Go crazy and get a name such as zAy0LfpBZLC8mAC, and suddenly this proxy gets you new powers of expression that can't be tied to your Mastercard or advertising partners of companies you don't even like.
This is actually an old tactic for maintaining privacy while participating on the internet: avatar, persona, handle, multiple names for it. It's the origin of the notion that "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." The social networks hypothetically ban this in their terms of service, but because Facebook has become the market-dominant entity now and can trust the average user to not intentionally falsify all their data, they no longer actively police this aspect of their ToS.
Facebook "Like" buttons on the web will still track your activity and link it to your profile, but you can take measures to ameliorate that (clear cookies, block the "Like" button origin URLs, and---for the most paranoid among us---use Tor so that not even the IP addresses are easily correlated to your activity).
Well, but what would that actually look like? And who would actually do such a thing?
What I am trying to point out that "it doesn't have the name from my passport attached to it" does in no way mean that it's not "representative of yourself". The name in my passport has some special significance, but in many ways it's also just as much a pseudonym as "zAy0LfpBZLC8mAC" is. If someone knew everything about you, except for the name in your passport, you could hardly argue that they didn't know you, could you? If someone writes a comment on here using a pseudonym, do you really think that the content of that comment is "in no way representative of [themselves]"? Does it matter for facebook that they don't know the name from your passport when they can see a large part of your interaction with the world? Does it make any difference in how they can influence you? What's the effect once you add in your social contacts? How is your social interaction hidden by the fact that you use a pseudonym to tell facebook who you know in real life and what you talk to them about? Even if all of them were using pseudonyms?
Edit: To maybe make it even clearer: Stuffing an account full of information that is in no way representative of yourself would mean that you use the account only to communicate with randomly selected people (otherwise it's info about who you are interested in talking to), newly selected randomly for each new contribution (otherwise it's info about who of the people selected randomly previously you found interesting), writing about randomly selected topics, probably mostly stuff that you are not interested in (but not necessarily, of course, otherwise the lack of certain topics would represent your interests), writing from a randomly selected standpoint (even on topics that you are actually interested in, otherwise it's representing your standpoint), but of course never using your expertise for anything you write (neither for defending your actual standpoint nor the opposite side, as the depth of your knowledge would be representative of yourself).
Specifying that your name is foobar and that you live in Peking and then talking about events in Paris to a semi-constant group of people many of whom are also constantly talking about events in Paris at the time when people in Paris are awake ... is not "Stuffing an account full of information that is in no way representative of yourself". If any human with half a brain can infer something from the whole picture of all the data you and your contacts supply, then that info is there, whether you specified it explicitly or not, and the only way to avoid that is by not letting your interests and your knowledge influence what you do, which is something nobody would ever do.
Easy fix for me, I don't comment on things on Facebook, nor do I ever feel the need to and I never visit the news feed. My usage is pretty much either:
- Receive email about event, RSVP.
- Receive email about group message, respond with Yes/No/Okay.
... and if those techniques are used by a big player, and it gets out (which it most definitely will), they'll have a consent decree (or worse) slapped on them so fast their head will spin. Look at what has already happened to Google when they were found to be circumventing Safari's third-party cookie blocking.
The main things that don't work under such a setup are:
1. Social buttons: meh, don't care.
2. Commenting systems such as disqus: again, meh.
The advantages are:
1. Most sites simply don't have ads under such a setup.
2. The sites that do show ads show non-targeted ads; generally related to the site content. Which is fine.
It strikes me that allowing cookies to be set or retrieved by third party domains was a terrible idea, and the current situation is a direct consequence.
Until then, will not install Facebook app, and will limit apps to companies I trust or apps I can't live without.
Facebook is a silly place too, but that's whole 'nother story.
I am not sure how much it helps maintain privacy, but I advise non-tech friends to choose one web browser (either Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) to use for just Facebook, Google, and Twitter use. Choose another web browser with a privacy plugin for use for all other use of the web.
I think apps having permission to access private data on our devices is such bullshit, and allowing them to post messages in our names, etc. transcends bullshit.
Prefer web standards over apps.
I closed my account years ago. Use NoScript, Disconnect, uBlock. But my profile is probably still there. It's been mentioned that they keep profiles of people who don't have an account.
I can imagine they could attach this comment and my online activity in other platforms to that profile. Even tell my friends about them.
That would make a good episode of Black Mirror. Titled "The Privacy Freaks", it would show people in a social network observing the lives and making fun of the absurd things privacy concerned people do to stay "out".
I assume that they will still keep some data around in order to spot possible new accounts with fake names (by people who deleted their real name accounts), like phone numbers and e-mail addresses. But it's a start...
That would make a good episode of Black Mirror. Titled "The
Privacy Freaks", it would show people in a social network
observing the lives and making fun of the absurd things
privacy concerned people do to stay "out".
I personally use Adblock Edge with the EasyPrivacy + EasyList and Fanboy's Annoyance List filters. I tried NoScript a while back but it destroyed how too many web pages worked for me to keep liking it. I assumed the EasyPrivacy feature took the place of Disconnect pretty well.
-all your private financial transactions.
no, my private financial transactions are private, how can Facebook access them?
-...the right to privacy, and the right to have a say in how information about us is used. We've giving up those rights forever by using Facebook.
No, you are giving up a small part of your privacy using Facebook. You give up privacy basically using any online service, and a lot of offline as well (loyalty cards, phone number, ...). And it's not forever.
-In reality, lots of your posts are never seen by anyone!
I think the article refers to the "Top Stories" features, but you can change it to "Most recent". The problem is not facebook, but the amount of material available. They are not hiding posts, it's just that they are too many for the average user
It's this dismissiveness that hasn't helped innovation in social media privacy, but sent it backwards. Thanks for that.
> "Get your loved ones off Facebook".
And this hair-on-fire turnaround doesn't help either. Our "loved ones" have their own brains. They would tell me to bugger off if I tried to spoil their fun.
I don't think I believe that FB keeps shadow profiles. What would be the commercial usage of such data? I doubt they are sharing shadow profile data with ad partners. What would such data look like and how could anyone possibly verify it?
I never signed up to FB, it's not my thing, too much like a club, not open enough, terrible or non-existent open data approach. I prefer gardens without walls. FB puts barbed wire fencing up by not allowing such basic things as RSS or feeds from FB to a website. Even the person who admins the FB page can't get to its data. Instead you have to install their like button on your site, and get an ugly widget thing to stream the data in within this God-awful blue and white box thing that really looks ugly on a website, and is bloated and crap.
But I see other people enjoying FB, especially the group pages which is where the best action is I'm told. (my 20-something flatmate tells me as she looks at FB right now on the couch).
If you leave FB for whatever reason (or never sign up in first place) then just do it. You don't need to blog about why you left. Just leave.
To address the too late point, I disagree. Yes they have the foundation but outdated data is just not as valuable to them as the fresh stuff. There is also something to be said that continued use of the service is in fact continued unpaid immaterial labour on your part. To keep using it is to continue trading your time and the commodification of your life and relationships over to the bad guys.
P.S. Screenshot: http://imgur.com/m4rLSHQ
[Edit:] Those ultra-light fonts are a very unfortunate fad that probably began with the introduction of iOS 7, maybe even earlier with MS's Metro, contrived and perpetuated by people who don't read but who look at texts.
On Firefox, Alt-V Y N (for no style) is in muscle memory by now, and renders in glorious 1990s black and white, and the text flows within the browser borders (another problem on many sites today).
My current settings are: Medium and Grayscale respectively. (on Gnome Shell)
What Linux are you running? "fc20" I guess that's Fedora? So it looks bad on Firefox on Fedora but fine on Ubuntu. That's a Fedora issue not a Firefox or general Linux issue.
Based on the other comments I got, the small differences could be caused by different anti-aliasing settings or font engines (I'm currently using freetype-freeworld-220.127.116.11-5 for example).
PS I agree too, they look better in Chrome, don't know why.
I caved in and deactivated my account when I realized there were some things I enjoyed about the experience - e.g. maintaining passive relationships with 2nd-tier acquaintances , especially from years past.
I just quit again 3 weeks ago, and this time feel absolutely no loss or desire to return. Baby pic? That's what holiday cards are for. Announcement? If it's important at all, it won't be shared exclusively on FB (if there was a brief time that wasn't true, it's long past in my age group of over 30s).
One big takeaway is that FB is a very poor substitute for keeping in touch with family. I wonder what's up with my sister. Hey I'll FaceTime her.
And those 2nd-tier relationships with people who might aortof be interesting to keep track of? The last time I got a kick out of reconnecting with one of them was probably 5 years ago, so I feel sort of been there done that.
If there was a way to publicly expose everyone for who they really were, maybe society would start to value those individuals who have real integrity (as opposed to greedy, manipulative, two-faced individuals). Absolute social transparency would allow power to be placed in the hands of people who are actually worthy of trust.
That said, I'm skeptical about Facebook's intentions. It looks like they just want to take people's personal information and use it for their own benefit. Their primary goal is not to make society more transparent for everyone - They just want to keep this information for themselves and keep everyone else in the dark - That way they get leverage over everyone else.
If no one has anything to hide, no one has anything to fear, right?
*I haven't seen any mention of your religion on the public profiles I've discovered yet. Indeed, almost everything i've seen relates to your programming work. How are we as a community to decide if you're worthy of trust if you don't disclose more personal information about your political views, family, finances, religion? What are you trying to hide? Why are you trying to deceive us?
Google tracks everyone everywhere as well. Should it do the same?
Did Facebook literally do that or is it really about users deleting/blocking posts on some Facebook groups or on they walls?
Personally I see absolute no value for consumers in ads. I like good critical reviews, not marketing bullshit. If I had the power, I would probably even consider prohibiting advertising altogether.
Anyways in my opinion FB doesn't have a lot of value because the stuff you read on it isn't REAL. Everyone only posting their best pictures, best experiences, none of the normal or bad stuff that happens. Thus, not realistic = fake = no value.
And the worst part of the privacy abuse is of course people not even being aware of it...
There was an article on HN some months back someone wrote that shared similar experiences and how Facebook feeds in general could lead to mild depression when someone sees their friends constantly doing fun or exciting things, going on vacation, etc., while they compare such activities against their own otherwise boring or monotonous life.
Reading my Facebook feed is like watching a theatrical performance, the stuff people post is not what really happens (it's often glorified), i assume because they want to present themselves to the world as if they are having a perfect life or something.. but meanwhile i know for a fact that they are sitting at home being depressed.
Great way to put it! The façade presented on Facebook often contributes to a feeling of inadequacy among more impressionable people precisely because of this.
I found an article that's roughly along the lines of the one I had in mind (saw it here on HN about a year ago--but I've since lost it). Either way, this one is a pretty good review of some of the psychological factors you were alluding to in your previous post (and addressed in this one):
While I doubt Stubb will see this comment, I think it's important to keep in mind that your original point was most assuredly not wrong.
Edit: Ah! I think I found it (turns out they both cite separate studies that come to very similar conclusions):
Mild depression seems a healthy response to seeing people do fun things while living a boring, monotonous life. Take a road trip, buy plane tickets somewhere fun, get out and live a little. We're not here forever.
Even you have to admit, that would be a pretty gritty but realistic take on life. ;)
That said, I'm not sure where your disagreement is. My assumption was correct about the OP's intent, so my next guess is that you're being contrarian simply for the sake of it.
They don't sell secrets about your life, they allow advertisers to target ads based on demographics, location and categories of interest. This does not mean they say "Hey advertisers, Jane Smith likes to do drugs with her friends and take embarrassing pictures. Sell her stuff!". It's more "Show my ad to women between the ages of 18-24 in Portland, OR who have an interest in rock music". It's just boring, not evil and not an invasion of anyone's privacy. Mailing lists have been segmenting audiences for decades, often with much more personal information, and no one is freaking out about it.
The facebook model of advertising is stupid anyway. They have the potential to use unimaginable amounts of information to infer who is most like to buy what from whom. Instead of using it to the fullest extent, they let advertisers select their own targeting criteria based on tiny sample sizes and gut intuitions about who their ideal customers are. You have nothing to fear from this, it's just advertising, same as it's always been.
If you don't like using facebook, just don't use it. The sky won't fall, the dead won't rise and the sun will come up tomorrow. They aren't doing any more harm than any other corporation, and the use of their product isn't any more requisite than any other product.
Depends on your perspective. Take eating meat. A butcher doesn't think that selling meat is evil, but I'd bet that cows would.
I've done work in advertising, but it's now on the list of things I won't work on. The basic purpose of almost all advertising is to manipulate people into buying stuff. I've come to see that manipulation as immoral. I think it's also an enormous waste: so many bright, creative people putting their lives into something that produces no net systemic benefit. Advertising is an arms race between companies, and we could re-purpose circa $1 trillion annually if we declared an armistice.
For net systemic value to be better than a world without advertising, you would have to count not just your personal positives and nothing else but individual positives and negatives both in the actual world and in the contrafactual.
For example, a lot of people have died from cancer caused by tobacco advertising, and things like the car accidents and liver failures that result from alcohol advertising. That's the actual negative side. You've assumed that in the contrafactual you just never would have heard about those products. But people hear about products all the time without advertising, so that's unproven. Perhaps in a world without ads we'd have more things like Consumer Reports and The Wirecutter, yielding better-informed decisions.
You also ignore the not-as-good products you're using because you never heard about the better ones with smaller advertising budgets. Think of all the folks using inappropriate Microsoft and Oracle products just because their bosses saw an ad. Similarly, you ignore how you've missed out on the products that don't exist because their companies were crushed via large advertising budgets. E.g., all the good beer that wasn't drunk because Budweiser out-advertised the small breweries.
And you also ignore the opportunity cost of advertising. I know a lot of smart, creative people who devote their lives to trying to shift market share from one essentially equivalent product to another. And for the most part, their work is canceled out by people from other advertising agencies. What if that money was spent on R&D, or just given back to the customers? What if those people were doing something that made the world better?
For net systemic value to be positive, the social benefits (product discovery is the only one you mention) would have to be greater than the costs. I don't think advertising actually helps, in net, with product discovery, but if it did I don't believe the value created even covers the $1 trillion or so in direct costs, let alone things like MS SQL Server and lung cancer.
Even if the benefits did cover all that (which I deny strongly) then I don't think it justifies the opportunity costs as compared with a world where people found their products through Consumer Reports and we spent the spare $1 trillion on something useful.
I'm definitely critical of facebook and their privacy record, but most of the linked post is about their app, which I never use and of people I'm close to, I don't know anyone who does exactly due to those excessive permission requests. The tracking with like buttons is worse, but easy enough to mitigate with any number of addons. Facebook may be dodgy, but they are no worse than google, apple or microsoft in that respect.
There isn't anything as good as facebook for communicating with friends, and for that reason, trying to stop people using it will never work, no matter the privacy implications. Treat facebook as something dangerous, be careful what you share, and contain it appropriately with addons, etc., but it's unfortunately necessary. What are the alternatives? Google plus is a ghost town and run by the one company worse than facebook on privacy, and disaspora is a joke. I do wish there was a good alternative, but there won't be, as facebook is as much a platform as a site these days.
Oh, and it is a ghost town. When it launched, 3 people I know made profiles. None still have them.
Trolling through so many mundane and inane posts to get to the few relevant items of interest has become a huge time-sink, for me.
Yesterday, I posted a simple, non-accusatory statement that said that I was stepping back from FB for a while, maybe forever, and that we could still stay in touch via email and text. So far, the response has been nothing but positive.
I avoid Facebook as much as possible, but there's a whole lot of nutty nonsense in this article. The reason I avoid Facebook is that it grew from a culture of bros instead of a culture of professionals or academics, and I won't entrust my data to bros. It's the same reason I don't use Uber.
I think I had a few more in the sources section at the bottom of the post too.
2. Facebook delivered 19k accounts' data to the US government out of more than 1 billion, and nowhere does it say it delivered all of their data. That is not "all of your Facebook data" unless they received a court order for all of your data, which is very unlikely unless you're running ISIS.
3. For PRISM, certain data for those specific users is delivered directly to the FBI, not the NSA. The NSA gets it from the FBI.
Unfortunately, Facebook is where people I want to communicate with can, and generally do see what I post, and engage with it at higher rates than on Google+.
Back when Google+ was new and very Google-oriented, I was able to build a community of a large number of followers for my personal account and a page for one of my books. But the Google+ user base is now larger, more diffuse, and less engaged. That's not very useful.
Lately, LinkedIn has been a good alternative. LinkedIn has improved their update stream. I read it, and I post to it. But LinkedIn does despicable things with your calendar information.
I'm pretty sure the people at Facebook have figured this out: Either you need it, and will put up with the privacy issues, or it's an entertainment medium for you and you don't care.
I've deleted Facebook and LinkedIn apps from my mobile devices, but I still use them via their Web UIs.
So does someone know what exactly changed and why my dear ones should suddenly stop using Facebook?
But I'm still on. Why? Well, because, like I said, all my friends are on there. It's a faustian choice: give up hearing from and relating to all of those people I have put so much emotional capital in all these years? Or stay and hold my nose?
I do not feel that the hype against Facebook is overblown. In fact, looking at it over a period of decades, it's probably understated.
For example: (Peter Thiel) - believes in a theory called "memetic desire" which uses people's social groups to manipuate their wants and intentions. - Copy pasted will spelling error^
A theory is not something you believe in, Memetic Desire ( Google René Girard) is a very interesting psychological idea, I find it interesting , will the author paint me as having evil intentions as well..
I'm sure you're a nice person. I also honestly think that Facebook, the NSA, Al Jazeera and even Cheezburger are full of nice people who want to make the world a better place. (Maybe not FOX news though. :) ) That doesn't necessarily condone what their organisations do.
The hard reality that revenue needs to be generated is a very real struggle. This was evolving pre-facebook, it just so happens that they are able to take advantage of what was already going on.
The answer is not to abandon social media, but to force awareness and possibly regulation, but again it's not easy when commerce is involved. I think that this will come in the future, right now the ground is still unstable, but it's important to look at the big picture and take the goods with the bad.
I quit Facebook a few years back. I didn't replace it with something new. I simply quit. I don't share my life online. I just live it.
A strategy to get people off FB ans sign up for something new? Almost impossible.
The point is, information on facebook is pseudo-public, not private and hopefully not too personal. Use it like this, and it don't think theres any problem. There are plenty of other options for more private or personal communications so its not like they have any monopoly power in this area. So, regardless of the dubiousness of Mark Zuckerberg's vision for open communications, i think the problems written about in this article reduce to a lot of hyperbole.