Facebook deserves heavy criticism for allowing the exploitation of data by corporations such as Cambridge Analytica, which — according to the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie — built psychological profiles on 50 million Facebook users in order to “target their inner demons” and wrongly manipulate them with political advertisements. I’ve been critical of Facebook for several years though, and I know much of importance about it that the corporate mass media has missed, such as Facebook’s experiment to manipulate the news feeds of nearly 700,000 users (without their consent) in an attempt to see much it could influence user emotions.
Facebook has also made a selling point to advertisers that it can identify when teenagers are feeling “worthless” and “insecure,” which of course is a widespread teenage vulnerability that allows for exploitation. Facebook has let advertisers discriminate against people by ethnicity before, it has near pointlessly asked victims of revenge porn to send it their nude photos (letting Facebook employees view them and maybe abuse them), and it has supported the recent Cloud Act that allows for significant violations of consumer privacy by police, among many other outrages. While it’s useful that Facebook has helped some people forge meaningful connections, that doesn’t have to come at the high costs of personal exploitation that the corporate has allowed and still allows.
Article: As Feds Launch Probe, Users Discover ‘Horrifying’ Reach of Facebook’s Data Mining
As the fallout from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal continued on Monday with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) announcement that it is conducting a long-overdue probe into the tech giant’s privacy practices, many Facebook users are only now discovering the astonishing and in some cases downright “creepy” reach of the platform’s data-mining operations, which form the foundation of its business model.
After a New Zealand man named Dylan McKay called attention in a viral tweet last week to the alarming fact that Facebook had collected his “entire call history” with his partner’s mother and “metadata about every text message [he’s] ever received or sent,” other Facebook users began downloading their archive of personal data the social media giant had stored and discovered that McKay’s experience was hardly anomalous.
Based on the stories of a number of users who shared their experiences and data, Ars Technica concluded in an explosive report published on Saturday that Facebook has been scraping call and text message data from Android phones “for years.”
While the social media giant insisted in a statement that it only collects such data with permission—which is usually requested during the process of installing particular apps such as Messenger—Ars noted that this claim “contradicts the experience of several users who shared their data,” including McKay.
Other articles that have appeared recently are linked to below here.
South Korea fines Facebook $369K for slowing user internet connections
73% of Canadians to change Facebook habits after data mining furor, survey suggests
More than #DeleteFacebook
No one can pretend Facebook is just harmless fun any more
Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’