Note I have edited this to add some extra content.
Following my previous exposé, in which I fearlessly aggregated a few links that confirmed my own bias, here is another installment in the groundbreaking series, “Facebook is Bad”. If you already think Facebook is bad, get ready to feel smug all over again!
Former Facebook & Google execs say FB is a ‘living, breathing crime scene’.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says: “I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”
In this he was following the example of Steve Jobs, who wouldn’t let his kids use an iPad.
And a major article shows how the bosses of Big Social don’t use their own platforms, at least not like you or me:
Facebook’s locked-down nature means mere mortals can’t see the private posts on Zuckerberg’s timeline, but it is hard to imagine him getting into arguments about a racist relative’s post of an anti-immigration meme. And it is not just Zuckerberg. None of the company’s key executives has a “normal” Facebook presence. You can’t add them as friends, they rarely post publicly and they keep private some information that the platform suggests be made public by default, such as the number of friends they have.
And a large study of corporate surveillance.
This report finds that the networks of online platforms, advertising technology providers, data brokers, and other businesses can now monitor, recognize, and analyze individuals in many life situations. Information about individuals’ personal characteristics and behaviors is linked, combined, and utilized across companies, databases, platforms, devices, and services in real-time. With the actors guided only by economic goals, a data environment has emerged in which individuals are constantly surveyed and evaluated, categorized and grouped, rated and ranked, numbered and quantified, included or excluded, and, as a result, treated differently.
Several key developments in recent years have rapidly introduced unprecedented new qualities to ubiquitous corporate surveillance. These include the rise of social media and networked devices, the real-time tracking and linking of behavioral data streams, the merging of online and offline data, and the consolidation of marketing and risk management data. Pervasive digital tracking and profiling, in combination with personalization and testing, are not only used to monitor, but also to systematically influence people’s behavior. When companies use data about everyday life situations to make both trivial and consequential automated decisions about people, this may lead to discrimination, and reinforce or even worsen existing inequalities.