Let me start by saying I’ve never had a Facebook account. So far I’ve gotten along fine without one.
Now, if you’re one of its 2 billion users, reading these 5 articles should cause you take pause and re-examine your relationship with Facebook?
Facebook is tracking your likes, clicks, check-ins, and picture posts. They track your movements around the internet via the almost always present like button. Any site you visit with that button sends information back to Facebook about your browsing activities as long as your logged in. And remember, their also buying information about you from outside data brokers to supplement the information they already have.
Here are the five articles every Facebook user should read.
1. Facebook’s first president, on Facebook: ‘God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains’
The Facebook founders purposefully created something addictive, the social network’s first president told Axios in an interview.
“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” Sean Parker said in the interview published Thursday.
With each like and comment, Facebook is “exploiting” human psychology on purpose to keep users hooked on a “social-validation feedback loop,” Parker said, adding that it is “exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with.”
2. Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society
Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a “hard break” from social media.
3. You Are the Product
What this means is that even more than it is in the advertising business, Facebook is in the surveillance business. Facebook, in fact, is the biggest surveillance-based enterprise in the history of mankind. It knows far, far more about you than the most intrusive government has ever known about its citizens. It’s amazing that people haven’t really understood this about the company. I’ve spent time thinking about Facebook, and the thing I keep coming back to is that its users don’t realise what it is the company does. What Facebook does is watch you, and then use what it knows about you and your behaviour to sell ads. I’m not sure there has ever been a more complete disconnect between what a company says it does – ‘connect’, ‘build communities’ – and the commercial reality. Note that the company’s knowledge about its users isn’t used merely to target ads but to shape the flow of news to them. Since there is so much content posted on the site, the algorithms used to filter and direct that content are the thing that determines what you see: people think their news feed is largely to do with their friends and interests, and it sort of is, with the crucial proviso that it is their friends and interests as mediated by the commercial interests of Facebook. Your eyes are directed towards the place where they are most valuable for Facebook.
4. How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You’ve Ever Met
More creepiness from Facebook.
You might assume Facebook’s friend recommendations would work the same way: You tell the social network who you are, and it tells you who you might know in the online world. But Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious. In the months I’ve been writing about PYMK, as Facebook calls it, I’ve heard more than a hundred bewildering anecdotes:
5. Opinion | We Can’t Trust Facebook to Regulate Itself
As the world contemplates what to do about Facebook in the wake of its role in Russia’s election meddling, it must consider this history. Lawmakers shouldn’t allow Facebook to regulate itself. Because it won’t.
Facebook knows what you look like, your location, who your friends are, your interests, if you’re in a relationship or not, and what other pages you look at on the web.
The more data it has on offer, the more value it creates for advertisers. That means it has no incentive to police the collection or use of that data — except when negative press or regulators are involved. Facebook is free to do almost whatever it wants with your personal information, and has no reason to put safeguards in place.