Posted on June 26, 2019
People need to understand that they are the product of Facebook and not the customer, according to media theorist and writer Douglas Rushkoff.
Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica problems are nothing compared to what’s coming for all of online publishing
Let’s start with Facebook’s Surveillance Machine, by Zeynep Tufekci in last Monday’s New York Times. Among other things (all correct), Zeynep explains that “Facebook makes money, in other words, by profiling us and then selling our attention to advertisers, political actors and others. These are Facebook’s true customers, whom it works hard to please.”
Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target in 2002, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”
Facebook is planning a new advertising system that will target ad delivery based on profile information added by Facebook users.
Last week, allegations emerged surrounding the use of Facebook user data by a data analytics firm called Cambridge Analytica. But while they have allegedly broken Facebook’s rules, the real problem is Facebook’s business model. And it’s a model that isn’t unique to Facebook. It originated with Google, which realised that the data gathered as people used its search engine could be analysed to predict what they wanted and deliver targeted advertising, and it’s also employed by most ‘free’ online services.
From the outside it all looked haphazard and frenzied. A campaign that was skidding from scandal to crisis on its way to total defeat.
At a tech conference in Lake Tahoe three years ago, Eric Schmidt gave a talk that included a startling statistic. Schmidt—who was then CEO of Google, so we took his word for it—announced that every two days, we create as much digital content as we did from the dawn of civilisation up until 2003. By “we,” of course, he meant those of us who are connected to the Internet: about two billion of the world’s seven billion people. And by “create content,” he meant “upload data.” Lots and lots of data. Five billion gigabytes of data, every two days.
NEW YORK — Facebook “likes” can tell a lot about a person. Maybe even enough to fuel a voter-manipulation effort like the one a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm stands accused of — and which Facebook may have enabled