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Desc:Details the evolution of a 'grossly unethical experiment'
Category:News & Politics, Crime
Tags:fake news, facebook, guardian, steve bannon, Cambridge Analytica
Submitted:decoy
Date:03/18/18
Views:980
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Comment count is 25
betamaxed - 2018-03-18
Since the election I've moved my private messaging over to signal, stopped making any profile updates on facebook, and have been trying my best to convince others to get off these toxic social media platforms. People really need to stop using Facebook as soon as possible. I'm shocked that anyone still wastes their time on twitter.
dairyqueenlatifah - 2018-03-18
Nothing you do online is private. If you value your privacy to the degree you claim to, you shouldn't be on the internet.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
Been off Facebook since early 2015, not for the privacy (privacy in the 21st century is an illusion even if you totally leave the Internet) but because I didn't like the way it was making me feel about myself and the world. Best choice I've made in a long, long time. It's not without social reprecussions, but the benefits outweigh them.

jfcaron_ca - 2018-03-19
I'm reasonably smug about never having joined Facebook at all. It's tiresome when friends forget that humans exist outside of Facebook though, but there is one dude who remembers to send me an email when they are organizing something.

I was on Twitter for about 2 years, but I quit in late 2016. Like OZ says, I didn't like the way it made me react to the world. Actually that's the same reason I quit PoeTV for several months until recently. I'm trying hard to avoid political discussions online now.

We need some version of the Butlerian Jihad but against social media.

betamaxed - 2018-03-19
My issue isn't so much about privacy as it should be apparent to all now that we need to stop feeding the beasts that are facebook and twitter. The point is: we don't have to use these platforms to interact with one another and continued use of them is a net negative for everyone involved.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
I only joined Facebook when I moved to a smaller city that didn't have any better way to keep track of shows. That was 2009 or 2010 and I was already really reluctant to join it because everything about it clearly violated the most fundamental principles of how to use the Internet safely and responsibly, and also it was stupid.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
But I (and probably most people here) had the benefit of learning about the Internet back when the default stance was still to assume that everyone but you was mentally ill and/or acting in bad faith until proven otherwise (and even then you couldn't really know for sure).

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
It wasn't until I'd actually used it for a while that I realized the problems with it were far, far worse than I had thought.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
Pretty much any site that determines visibility of content algorithmically is a problem, which covers just about all social media, Reddit (After Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, Reddit may be the worst because it's SO easy to game and SO meritocratic in the true sense - that is it elevates the worst to the top- and so influential).

I still use Youtube but that's it as far as this stuff goes, and Youtube's system of manipulating what you see is so crude that it's pretty easy to work around if you know what it's doing.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
The deeper problem is how many people have been taught to trust algorithms.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
The hopper here is simplistic enough that it's not a huge problem, and some kkind of system of selection is needed. Better the hopper than curation.

15th - 2018-03-19
I'm not on social media, but I have the Reddit app. I read it all the time, but I hate it.

I'm probably 8 or so years clean from Facebook. Maybe I'll use it in the future, but avoiding it during my messianic years was uncharacteristicly wise.

cognitivedissonance - 2018-03-18
I've been researching Cambridge Analytica professionally for the last few months, I paid for their Digital Life service, and the returns came back telling me that I was an ethnically Jewish, conservative, Catholic, law student. If there are four things that I am not, it's those four things.
Old_Zircon - 2018-03-18
This was my job from about 2005 to 2012 except instead of manipulating elections we were manipulating people to have shittier taste in music and movies (if you have cable tv, an Ericsson phone, an LG television or have used a Sony owned download service or allmisic in the last decade you were a target) and instead of stealing data from Facebook we stole it from last.fm and Netflix (mostly).
Chicken the Did - 2018-03-18
"You know that Netflix Original 'Open House'? I'm responsible for that! :D"

*PUNCH*

"It's okay, it happens all the time..."

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
I focused on modern Christian rock because it was really easy to work on. Very target-marketed and formulaic, and I had no personal connection to it. If you bought Family Force 5 or Demon Hunter or something from a Sony service and were recommended similar stuff, that was me plus a fairly simplistic algorithm.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
Da T.R.U.T.H.

Old_Zircon - 2018-03-19
Obviously I'm playing up the similarity a bit, but mostly in terms of the sophistication and scale of what they were doing compared to the company I contracted for. It's all ultimately marketing though, and the underlying principles are pretty similar.

Mister Yuck - 2018-03-19
Probably only the scale, not the sophistication. This 'whistleblower' and the news both have incentive to make these guys out as evil geniuses whether or not they were.

BHWW - 2018-03-19
The hilarious thing about this week's fake outrage storm is that now social media marketing like everybody does it is also sinister, but only when it has anything to do with Trump. It's a sinister campaign and already I see people claiming the Russians were involved. "Oddly" enough, I see these same people, online, chattering about ethics and professional responsibility but if you follow the conversation threads back, their real objections aren't about the methods, only who uses. Also, quite of a few of these same people are bravely standing up for the CIA and NSA and the like because those orgs now deemed sufficiently "woke" and reptiles like Jake Clapper are wise solons to be trusted.
Two Jar Slave - 2018-03-19
I too have observed that people's conversation changes based on the topic at hand, but unlike you I do not file it under "inexplicable human tendency #133768."

Do you seriously see no difference between Amazon using an algorithm to suggest my next Deep Space Nine novel, and anonymous propagandists-for-hire harvesting profile data from unknowing targets to create highly tailored listicles for them to "discover" in order to nudge them a couple degrees closer to Breitbart's ideology?

Because everyone else does.

decoy - 2018-03-19
That's a good point. Jim Messina, David Plouffe et al did very much the same thing for Obama and were lauded by MSM as creative geniuses and heralds for the new age of political campaigning.

Mister Yuck - 2018-03-20
Well, I'm one of those who finds himself defending the likes of the FBI, and it's not because I find the organization particularly upstanding. It's just that Trump is attacking it for acting as a check on presidential power, where I object when it enables power to act reprehensibly. I don't think it's hypocritical to applaud the FBI when it's investigating government corruption and to denounce it when it's harassing Muslims.

Mister Yuck - 2018-03-19
I'm glad this came out, but the cynic in me thinks this guy is just trying to promote himself now that the election is over and he's gotta find a new job. He had no problem pulling all this shady shit, why the change of heart?
decoy - 2018-03-19
Most probably because, like everyone else, he had himself convinced that, despite his shady shit, Trump wouldn't win.

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