As the world’s largest social network, Facebook has data of more than 2 billion people. But it showed that it had failed to safeguard some of that information when Cambridge Analytica took some of the data without people’s permission in 2016 and built voter profiles from it for the Trump presidential campaign, which The New York Times and The Observer in London reported on last year. Facebook said that as many as 87 million users’ information could have been retrieved.
“Facebook put up a neon sign that said ‘Free Private Data,’ and let app developers have their fill of Americans’ personal info,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Friday. “The FTC needs to hold Mark Zuckerberg personally responsible.”
The social network has since faced lawsuits, regulatory scrutiny and the ire of lawmakers around the world over whether it can safeguard its users’ data trove. The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating Cambridge Analytica. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has appeared in Congress to testify on the matter. Zuckerberg, who visited Washington this week and met with President Donald Trump, also apologized for the improper handling of user data and vowed changes. That included auditing all of Facebook’s third-party apps to make sure they were not abusing people’s information.
So if you’re a Facebook user, it’s now important to ask yourself, “Is spending your time on Facebook actually making you happier?”
If you’re the type to just view what your friends are up to, read articles, and scroll down your wall, it’s likely hurting your happiness.
A few studies have shown that using Facebook passively like this can lead to upward social comparisons. When you compare yourself to the best qualities of others on Facebook, suddenly you like yourself less. You know, like when you see the accomplishments of your so-called friends and you start questioning whether you’ve done enough with your life. Or when you see the fancy-ass meals your co-workers are posting before eating, and then you wonder if you are boring because, let’s face it, you never do anything cool or fun.
It’s human nature to compare yourself to others, but on Facebook, everyone is presenting the best versions of themselves. So you always compare upward and end up feeling like you’re not good enough.
Most of the crap people post is fake, or exaggerated, anyway. POSERS.
The little green envy monster can make you feel inferior, hostile, and resentful. These emotions can actually harm your social relationships instead of supporting them while making you feel miserable in the process.
If you’re looking for the easiest possible way to find out if Facebook is making you miserable, take some time off. Then ask yourself if you felt better. If it did, consider taking more time off. Like, FOREVER.
Facebook remains the most popular social network worldwide. Users just can’t seem to let go of Facebook, even though, according to a huge recent study by Stanford University, it’s also having a detrimental impact on our health. (Tom Fogden@fogdenstom)
Facebook recorded 2.32 billion monthly active users on December 31, 2018. According to the International Telecommunications Union, some 48% of the world’s population is online – about 3.6 billion people. Scratch off a billion or so for the people who can’t access Facebook in China and the enormity of Facebook becomes clear – almost 90% of those who can access Facebook do indeed have an account with it. (Tom Fogden@fogdenstom)
Insiders know that Facebook is not simply an innocent space where its users can interact with each other. Among many other negative effects that Facebook ultimately has on individuals, one of the more sinister aspects of it involves the milking of personal data and reselling it to third parties without permission or compensation.
Here is a good starting point to familiarize yourselves with the evil that is Facebook:
WAKING UP TO THE FACEBOOK CATASTROPHE
By ROGER MCNAMEE
The New York Times bestseller about a noted tech venture capitalist, early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, and Facebook investor, who wakes up to the serious damage Facebook is doing to our society – and sets out to try to stop it.
If you had told Roger McNamee even three years ago that he would soon be devoting himself to stopping Facebook from destroying our democracy, he would have howled with laughter. He had mentored many tech leaders in his illustrious career as an investor, but few things had made him prouder, or been better for his fund’s bottom line, than his early service to Mark Zuckerberg. Still a large shareholder in Facebook, he had every good reason to stay on the bright side. Until he simply couldn’t.
ZUCKED is McNamee’s intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world’s most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing. It’s a story that begins with a series of rude awakenings. First there is the author’s dawning realization that the platform is being manipulated by some very bad actors. Then there is the even more unsettling realization that Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are unable or unwilling to share his concerns, polite as they may be to his face.
And then comes the election of Donald Trump, and the emergence of one horrific piece of news after another about the malign ends to which the Facebook platform has been put. To McNamee’s shock, even still Facebook’s leaders duck and dissemble, viewing the matter as a public relations problem. Now thoroughly alienated, McNamee digs into the issue, and fortuitously meets up with some fellow travelers who share his concern, and help him sharpen its focus. Soon he and a dream team of Silicon Valley technologists are charging into the fray, to raise consciousness about the existential threat of Facebook, and the persuasion architecture of the attention economy more broadly — to our public health and to our political order.
Zucked is both an enthralling personal narrative and a masterful explication of the forces that have conspired to place us all on the horns of this dilemma. This is the story of a company and its leadership, but it’s also a larger tale of a business sector unmoored from normal constraints, just at a moment of political and cultural crisis, the worst possible time to be given new tools for summoning the darker angels of our nature and whipping them into a frenzy. Like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, Roger McNamee happened to be in the right place to witness a crime, and it took him some time to make sense of what he was seeing and what we ought to do about it. The result of that effort is a wise, hard-hitting, and urgently necessary account that crystallizes the issue definitively for the rest of us.
Besides turning a generation into an army of self-involved, bragging, show-off, narcissistic, posing, phoney, wannabe, smart-phone addicted automatons, Facebook is turning its users into a giant, uncompensated data farm.