The Logical End of Social Media

Tribalism based on opinion and politics. It’s inevitable.

It could abolish the economy. It could crush the democracy. It could trample on the constitution and bill of rights.

woman-holding-flag


30 years ago I was fascinated by the internet and what it could bring. A new age of enlightenment. I studied and dreamed.

20 years ago I was in the middle of it, working at a dotcom advertising agency, building the groundwork for it.

About 10 years ago I decided I didn’t want to keep playing this game with my personal profile. I’ve been online all day and most nights for 20+ years now, so I figured if my actual name was posting things about all of my interests both work and privately, well, my privacy had no way of surviving. Anyone in the future could search and learn every single thing about me without ever meeting me. This was unsettling, so even though I continued to use services I had to, I try to use aliases and anonymous services when possible, and still have never had a Facebook account.

For the last 10 years I’ve been watching Facebook, Instagram, Google, Xbox, even Apple gobble up every single datapoint they can about their users. They get plenty from me even after efforts to minimize it.

So where’s it all going?

clouds-rainbow-thumb


Analytics. Refined data at our fingertips. All to be an informed consumer, right? How much will you pay for that information?

This is big data + the cloud + commercial interests + human vanity and fear. This is our future.

Who just posted a comment? Who just read my post? Who are they? What do they like? What do they own? — We’re here already, especially if you are in advertising or know how to dig.

inline-facebook-privacy-group-photo

Next step – I want to buy something. Show me the stores nearby. Now filter to the stores locally owned. Or only certain types of neighborhoods. Or with ownership of a certain ethnicity.

Next step — [after filter to local owned] – none found. OK show corporate stores nearby that donate to a certain political cause or party.

Next step — I need a contractor. Search by political affiliation and ethnicity.


This is why people don’t put their Facebook name on Craigslist.


The logical end of this tech, once the weak privacy and fairness laws are obliterated, is total knowledge of all affiliations, history, likes and dislikes of every single person and corporate entity you encounter in your day.

pfft

Unless we are all batshit crazy before then and never make it….

The Difficult Life of Phuc Dat Bich

Some poor chap is actually named Phuc Dat Bich. Granted, when pronounced in his native language it does not sound like that.  But Facebook can’t sort it all out and has deleted his account several times.

No Facebook account is better than having one, but still, can’t they stop their computers from deleting the guy?

Phuc Dat!

No word on how his two sisters Slap Dat & Kil Dat survive on social media.


 

MercyPhuk_Clipped_WEB

Spotify Wants Your Profile For The Highest Bidder

While Pono makes news with their righteous promise to give you free content upgrades for life, Spotify is making news with an update to their privacy policy that informs the users of their service – particularly the free subscription tier – through a million words of legalese that they are agreeing to share their contact, photo album, location data, browsing history and Facebook profile in order to listen to music on the service.

725cd197ea03b892518154fa03b57043

Give your life away to hear rented 10% music files?  Haha yeah right.

Even previously happy Spotify customers are canceling subscriptions over this new (yet totally predictable) revenue stream.

Low-vs-High-Quality-Image

 

I’ve been saying for a couple of years that the streaming services aren’t going to make it. I know they continue to get more and more subscribers, and more listeners. More 10%’ers.

low

But they can’t sustain their business because there is no margin. They can barely pay the crazy-low royalties now, and they won’t be able to pay the increased royalties in the near future.  Advertisers will ruin the service trying to get those clicks.

 

 

You simply can’t give access to the world’s entire catalog of music for $0.30 a day, there’s no margin there. There’s too much good music out there with more being made every day. This model will not sustain.


 

Buy your music people, whether it’s vinyl or digital download, and try to buy the highest quality you can get. The rental model is a disaster in the process.

dgb

Spend the $120/year that used to go to Spotify on buying legal retail music and trading with your actual friends and the music industry will survive and prosper.

IMG_7842

Own your own music in full quality, non-tracking, files. Stop renting 10% versions for your digital sanity. Actual social media is enjoying music with other people.

Facebook Siding With Turkish Government To Limit Opposition?

facebook.nar

Reports out of Turkey are claiming that Facebook has sided with the Turkish government and are enacting pro-government policies including blocking discussion groups about Kurdish independence and banning users that insult the current Turkish president or his policies towards theKurds. Some Kurdish activists are sounding the alarm bell although there isn’t a lot of evidence to this point.

The future is now, and if true this equals my worst fear for Facebook.  Sure, highly targeted advertising and selling profiles for money are annoying, but you could make the claim that they fall into the “no big deal” category because it’s just commerce. Nothing there is stopping you from enjoying life.

But if your political views on Facebook do not align with Facebook Inc. and are now enough to get you banned, well we have a problem. This gives Facebook far too much political power and any country where this is taking place should investigate Facebook’s business license.

Being an American company, I also support congress or the FTC investigating this. No american media company, especially one as engrained and ubiquitous as Facebook, should be allowed to pick a side and promote one government entity over another one.

5-reasons-facebook-page-sucks

Snark Attack

Internet snark has become a major annoyance. I often long for the days when only nerds were on the internet. If you haven’t heard it before, snark is the term used for sarcastic, asshole responses in the comments at the bottom of every story and in every thread you are interested in following.

Snark, when done right, is a quick bit of ignorance or obviousness to lighten up the discussion. It’s the typed version of a quick dumb joke. It is often targeted at a poster who is ranting, repeating, or working with false assumptions. Good snark is the elephant in the room.

When the nerds had the internet all to themselves snark was often technical and sometimes obscure, and the effect was often endearing because it represented a frustrated nerd cracking wise. Nowadays with every member of the general public posting daily, their little Facebook faces crowding up the entire web, snark has become the standard language of the internet, and the way it is practiced these days is downright unfunny if not horrible in it’s completeness.

homer-jump-shark

Seemingly every discussion on the internet (okay about 75% in my experience) has someone posting garbage insults, opinions, and false information. It’s like the ignorance of mankind on full display. We are treated to people who can type but not spell, people who must not have made it through 6th grade grammar, people who’s hatred drives them to post horrible things under their own name, often times with a picture of them and their unfortunate offspring. Making fun of people’s appearance is something the nerds never bothered with, that was against the rules.

I shudder to think how much snark has affected people’s psyche. The early internet featured nerds having nerdy discussions, so snarky comments just added to your nerdy battles. People weren’t discussing nearly as much emotional content back then.

The fact that the modern internet includes insulting snarks in the comment section of stories about death, disease, and tragedies makes it a pretty horrible place. So much ignorance and insensitivity being posted to this amazing resource known collectively as the internet. Someone posts something nice, someone else posts that they have bad teeth and seeing their teeth was so horrible that it has altered their worldview. Original poster has to deal with that.

725cd197ea03b892518154fa03b57043

Are you guilty? If you log into a single service (like facebook) and cruise around the web posting short, opinionated slams on people or the subject at hand, you are probably snarking. If your posts aren’t funny and could hurt people’s feelings you should know you are pooping in the hallway and you need to get some manners.

Stop insulting people online and move it offline. Have fun sitting at the bar telling people their flaws to their faces. The cute baby in your photo won’t help then.

think-before-you-speak

More Facebook = More Loneliness

File this under the “no shit” category – but new research is showing that women who share more private information to Facebook end up feeling lonelier than those that don’t.

This type of thinking has been out in the public for a few years so it’s good to see some research backing it up.

It also reminds me of how Louie CK described this modern era:


I’m going to out Louie’s Hungarian name because he’s my boy:

Louis Szekely Jr. is the son of a software engineer and an economist. He was born in Washington DC, moved to Mexico City as a 1 year old, then moved to Massachusetts with his mother after his parents divorce when Louie was 10 years old. Strange lives make for great comedians. He has mexican, african, and hungarian ethnicity in his family.

 

From Your Face

Save face? About face? In your face? A Chicago artist has decided to have some fun with digital surveillance – he’s printed and is selling a realistic mask of his own face for your public enjoyment.

The idea isn’t to steal his girlfriend for the night but to confuse the hell out of facebook and all the other digital surveillance programs running around us. His mask has been tested with facial recognition software, and the goal of his project is to test, poke, and otherwise undermine the creepy future predicted in Minority Report:

He insists all products will be sold at cost, with no profit made and all proceeds going to sustain the effort to keep surveillance in the public discourse.

“To be clear, I am not anti-surveillance. What I am pushing for is increasing the amount of public discourse about surveillance and how it affects our behavior in public space. When we are watched we are fundamentally changed. We perform rather than be.”

The group is also working on open-source facial-encryption software that replaces faces in video with the artists is currently in the prototype stage  and will eventually become available as a free download from the URME website.

It’s Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car

It’s Not Just the NSA: Police Are Tracking Your Car – Slashdot.

I told y’allz.


traffic_lights_and_surveillance_camera


I build (and then query) databases, and have been doing it for many years.

Facebook, Google, NSA, the cops, drug stores, retailers, the education system, Apple – these companies have been building databases on you – your actions, your locations, your likes and dislikes, your demographic data, your political views, your pets, etc.

All of these groups are just learning how to query their customer data and enact programs based on the results. Look for this to continue and your old data coming back to haunt you more and more.

If the government doesn’t stop these groups from sharing their databases they will do it for profit. They will sell us all down the river for a buck, and we all know it.

Imagine the police databases, the facebook databases, the health databases, the apple databases, the phone/internet databases, and your company’s database all collaborating? What kind of horrible and illegal things could you do to a person with all that data?

Who decides where you can walk? The database.
Who decides what you can buy? The database.
Who decides if what you buy is appropriate? The database.
Who decides what movie is appropriate for you? The database.
Who decides if your musical taste makes you a bad employee? The database.
Who decides every aspect of your modern life? The database.

From the earliest days of the internet, this was a primary fear.

Will our information age swamp and drown us? Will we give our freedoms over to a big brother database?

Are you free to sneak around town anymore? Are you free to purchase something, dispose of something, or otherwise take on some project that you don’t want publicized?

If I type something on the internet implying illegal behavior then get in my car and drive, can a cop pull out and get me without a traffic violation?

Paranoia or the facts of modern life?

Facebook Is Also Tracking What You Don’t Do

It’s kind of obvious at this point that Facebook is storing, packaging, and selling every bit of data you give them while you use their “free service” to connect with your family, friends, and whatever.

facebook-so-what-button

I think most people get this and many don’t care. I personally think it’s a very dangerous precedent to allow someone else to profit off your private business, especially since they will continually sell you out to new and interesting ways to exploit you. That cost to my entire future life is not worth the “service” that Facebook offers.

But now it’s really getting interesting. Facebook is leading the study of collecting and analyzing what you don’t do. See, non-actions are actions in the Facebook world, and once they started profiting off your posts they can’t keep that addiction going (and profits up) if you don’t post more and more. You need to feed the beast, there’s lots of shareholders out there.

But now the beast is watching who you don’t reply to, who you don’t friend, where you lurk, how long you stay, and most creepily – what you don’t submit!

If you type into a form text box anywhere on Facebook and don’t hit submit, close your browser, or let it sit there, Facebook has already read it. And they are giving those messages more priority in a creepy “we know what you are really thinking” way.

If you use Facebook to login to other sites, guess what – they aren’t commenting on whether they can track your non-activities on external sites. Since we know they are tracking views and clicks and how it all connects to your ‘social graph’ (your Facebook account), I’m pretty sure they can build that out soon enough.

5-reasons-facebook-page-sucks

Also, don’t forget that Facebook’s software is constantly building your political profile, not to mention you other hobbies, interests, and opinions. Police are making arrests through Facebook, employers are running Facebook-based “background checks”, and soon enough you’ll be able to get a full workup of someone’s entire digital profile just by ID’ing them. Straight stalker style. Weird future times, indeed.

Facebook Wants To Kill Your Apps (and the Free Internet)

Recently Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s first website was discovered in a cache somewhere. It was from the late 90’s and little Mark was in 9th grade and learned how to make a HTML page and post to some defunct blogging service. My first page went up about 1996 so I found this fascinating.

Little Zuck was advertising for his first version of a social network. Even back then he was pushing something that confused the market and relied on an air of inclusion. He actually called his idea “The Web” (no, not the real www-web, but hey who cares about confusing people). Continue reading

Racists and Haters Posting Everywhere – The New Red Scare

Is the internet more racist these days?

Feels like it. I can’t read a single story about anything current without racist, ignorant comments blaming it on Obama the muslim and his lazy no good supporters.

I think it’s because everyone on facebook…. all these non-tech morons with too much tech and time on their hands… can now comment on articles quickly…. and every article can get comments somehow… and since there are millions just reading and posting online, why not post ridiculous shit?

Sometimes I honestly feel like writing down and posting the name, job, and facebook link of every redneck asshole I find online. But I know that compiling this list makes me no better than the idiots behind the “red scare”. It is the new red scare – red neck republicans posting their nonsensical rants about socialism (which they obviously have no experience or understing of). Rednecks arguing over facts is entertaining but toxic.

I think the tech is coming soon that the second you become aware of someone’s name you will get a report on their politics, likes, dislikes, and other online posting stuff. If so we will have to determine if we ever want to do business with right-wing maniacs anymore.


Redneck-GTAV-art

 

How Facebook Can Out Your Most Personal Secrets

inline-facebook-privacy-group-photoGreat discussion and article about two teens who were outed by Facebook even though they took great pains to control this using privacy features.

This is yet another example of Facebook’s facade showing – they are a data mining company designed to profit from your privacy only, with a pretty face all about convenience. How else could you stay in touch with people? Must not have been any way before 2007 to contact anyone?

Some may say ‘so what’ to the general premise — after all, they participated in the internet, they are in fact gay, how is facebook to blame, and where’s the crime anyway?

Just remember in some cultures (and families) being something can literally be a death warrant.

Junkies, Put Down That Facebook and Look In The Mirror

You are selling yourself short. You are worth more than that. Have some pride! Here’s a mirror, take a look.

Looking at friend and family pictures is not bad. Seeing them in person and catching up is a much healthier alternative.

Sharing your opinion about something online is not bad. Being able to share it anonymously or with a personal or business account could be a much healthier alternative.

Allowing advertisers to know more about you and your habits is not bad. Selling every movement and thought you have online to multiple bidders for no known benefit to yourself is not healthy.

The Facebook login system is the root of the evil. You can go to whatever site you want and login and do whatever you choose and I won’t bother you a bit.?But making me get an account with this company to do something else on the web — that’s going too far.

Facebook is killing the internet whether you enjoy it or not. By attempting ubiquitousness, Facebook is ruining all of it. Hurry up and die is my feeling, and those of you using facebook should start seeking alternatives before they are all gone and all we have left is facebook.

-Fahqfase Bookman

 

Facebook and the Rise of the Idiots

Snark. Smart ass. Quick. Whoa. Fail.


facebook_idiots_funny


Anyone who runs their personal life through facebook is kind of an idiot. Break the grip of the snarky randomness! Try actual content and contact again. Keep your business private! Pick up your damn phone!

Come on America it’s getting pretty weird out there. We invented the internet and now some of us are overdosing on it.

Facebook Sees The Shark

I have been observing the growth of Facebook in the social space for years now, and after growing more and more frustrated at the ‘facebook effect’ taking place online I’ve decided to start posting about it. My fear is that facebook will become the defacto internet login ID which will cause your entire online self and your privacy to be tracked and sold to the highest bidder.
Continue reading

Stop Using Facebook To Login To Other Sites

If you love or hate Facebook, never visit or live on it – that’s fine by me. Waste your time however you see fit. But please don’t contribute to Facebook ruining the internet as I know it. Using a Facebook login to access other sites is a huge security risk. Big surprise, huh? (same thing with Google+ and other shared-login concepts).

Not only can your private information get stolen by unknown 3rd party ‘advertising’ companies (something you probably don’t care about if you are using Facebook in the first place), but from my perspective, it’s much bigger than that. The issue is not about your indivdual Facebook security, it’s about Facebook’s attempt to become the defacto ‘internet ID’ that we all need to use the world’s information networks.

Some of you might be fine using one profile tied directly to your legal name, your family, your job, and your life as you surf around the world wide web, but this is not how the system was designed and not how it grew to such prominence. Anonymity, or at least misdirection, is an important part of information sharing on the internet.

The only way to stop a bandwagon is to jump off it. It might still crash and burn down the road with some riders, but you’ll be safe and sound with just small scratches.

So don’t use your Facebook login to interact with other sites. Doing so will ultimately kill the original purpose of the internet and turn the whole thing into a big, even less secure, Facebook. Not to mention all of your posts, likes, and views during all of your browsing exploits — even that one night where you drank that whole bottle! — will be available for future employers to review. Think about it.

A single internet ID, controlled by anyone (Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.) ?will kill the internet. Do not kill the internet.

Data Mining Your Past, Present, & Future

Lots of privacy-politics news lately: First off our good buddies at Facebook want even more information, and will happily put it on a timeline and sell it to the highest bidder for you.


onstar-smart-driver-assessment
If you find this a little ‘big-brother’ish, imagine if your car’s position and status were constantly tracked and sent to the federal government computers, then sold to outside parties.

This is what is happening now in the US when driving a GM with OnStar. In the name of safety you are being tracked even if you cancel the service, and by tracked I mean having your entire positioning and speed history stored in a permanent database and sold to the highest bidder.

The government connection? GM is currently owned by the US Government as a result of the bailout a few years back.

Gonna Need 200 Thousand Paper Cups

house-party


I love it. My manager Fahqfasse said I wish I could be so lucky to have 200k people show to my birthday bash. The best I can do is get 4 half-naked fake females with similar sounding fake names to friend me on myspace in the course of 2 minutes. Some of them even live in my town! They are new in town too, so I think I have a chance, haha.

BTW — I am not on Facebook, never have been, and I enjoy the fact that I am starting to miss people’s FB-announced-only social events. Obviously I’m not a neophyte (I have probably 20 profiles at every other kind of site currently – literally hundreds of social profiles over the decades I’ve been online), I just hate Facebook. Hated it from day 1, hate it more now that every moron on the planet is using it to replace all forms of human interaction.

Some readers might know that I have experience programming databases and data warehousing systems, and running reports on such data. If you’ve been feeding your daily personal information and habits to Facebook or some other services and don’t worry about it, I think in the next 2-4 years you will see software developed that makes you wish you could delete all that data. Of course you can’t, and you don’t ‘own’ it anymore once it’s online.

The real fear isn’t that these new systems will come to your house to take you away because of something you’ve done wrong. Nor is it scary to think that the drugstore and every other retailer wants to track me in order to sell me more items (preferably those with the highest profit margin). My real concern is when these system miscalculate or use a faulty algorithm and you are tagged as something/someone you are not. I wonder if there’s any sexual predators named Mark Elliot Zuckerberg in the world?