It seems like only yesterday (ok, last week) that Jason was writing about Facebook and what it knows about us. That was before this weekend’s exposés about Cambridge Analytica and Facebook taking all your data and manipulating elections with said data. I walked into class on Monday, having thrown out the plan for the day, to talk to my students instead about the news that had broke over the weekend.
NONE OF THEM EVEN KNEW ABOUT IT.
I also started a syllabus of sorts of readings about the issues around this latest iteration of “guess how safe and secure your data is and how it might be used for nefarious purposes but it’s actually worse than that” edition. You can add your own suggested readings to the list, and if you’re really REALLY into it, feel free to make it look better than a bunch of pasted links in a google doc. I am meaning to get to it...
Five things from that list:
- The original New York Times piece. And an important op-ed: Facebook’s Surveillance Machine
- In case you think this is new, a reminder about their “mood manipulation” experiment.
- This doesn’t just impact our elections, either.
- On Weaponized Design.
- Social Media and Academic Surveillance: The Ethics of Digital Bodies.
These are just five (ok six, I can count). There have been lots of Twitter threads (this one, this one, this one). Now, while we all rush to delete our FB accounts (or those who smugly point out they never had one, or deleted it YEARS AGO), we have to also remember that being able to delete Facebook entirely from your life is a privilege. There are things you can do to limit the amount of data facebook has on you. Audrey Watters writes about how she manages her digital footprint, you can also opt-out of API-sharing apps and suggestions on how to share as little data as possible. A good ad blocker works wonders as well.
Bonus, you can listen to me talk to Dorothy Kim and Kelly Baker about these issues and more!
I still can’t quit Facebook. I have too large a community there, to be honest, a different one than the one I have on Twitter. And I will hate to see friends go, or stop posting and sharing, but I can’t say that I blame them. Talk to your students, talk to your family, be aware.
What are your plans for facebook?