Is Facebook surveillance masquerading as ‘social media’

The evolution of social media has been nothing short of curious to watch. Some of us remember the dial up internet days that required a land line to work, and if the phone rang whatever you were doing online was dropped. We didn’t have a diverse social media super highway, we had chat rooms. AOL, YAHOO, IQ and everyone had a handle. No one knew who they were speaking with. The majority of the people who got into the chat rooms were people who had advanced computer knowledge. From those chat groups came the social media networks.

A variety of places to meet people showed up everywhere. Online dating was born. So many sights allowed people to limit their personal interactions and reach out to people all over the world from the comfort of their home. The rising star of these social media networks was Myspace. Whether it was a great marketing strategy or the curiosity of people everywhere, Myspace seemed to take off. Tom was everyone’s first friend. Just like that, overnight you were able to keep up with friends and family everywhere. You didn’t have to email everyone separately; you didn’t have to send letters out or mail pictures. In this one convenient place you could share what was going on in your life, share pictures and keep up with those that matter to you. In a twist you could also meet new people from all walks of life.

Myspace still allowed you to keep your confidentiality, you didn’t have to put your real name on your profile. As time went on, they became more creative with their options. You could customize your profile with creative art and music that played when people clicked on your profile. So not only was it convenient but it was fun. People would spend hours making their profiles perfect and connecting with their friends and families. As the popularity rose so did the pesky advertisers, and overnight people were flooded with friend request from every mulita level marketing and porn sight known to man, then Tom sold out and moved on.

Fear not Mark Zuckerberg was waiting in the shadows for his time to shine. Mark had created Facebook as a social media network for college students only. Just as Myspace was winding down Zuckerberg announced he would be opening Facebook to the public. Overnight people jumped off the Myspace wagon and opened their Facebook accounts. There were a few years that people kept up with both but as Myspace died Facebook grew.

Currently there are 2.38 Billion Facebook users. They are number one beating out the top competitors by far. Twitter, snapchat and Instagram. The overall appearance and structure of Facebook hasn’t changed much over the years. Things have slowly evolved adding features and tools. Things like pages and groups have become extremely popular. You have access to news 24/7 from various sources. Facebook is by far more popular with the older generations. The youth seem to prefer networks like snapchat. Facebook has become a helpful tool in many ways. Advertising, employment, networking, dating, and just keeping in touch. As Facebook as grown so have the standards and not in a way everyone agrees with.

“Facebook makes their money by exploiting and selling intimate details about the private lives of millions, far beyond the scant details you voluntarily post. They are not victims. They are accomplices.”

Edward Snowden blames Facebook and other social media companies for data harvesting gone awry.

Cambridge Analytica on Saturday denied any wrongdoing, issuing a statement that said the firm “fully complies” with Facebook’s terms of service.

The ensuing uproar has prompted at least one lawmaker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., to call on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, reportedly asked Cambridge Analytica last fall to surrender emails from any of its employees who worked for the Trump campaign. The firm complied to the request.

Facebook has already taken heat for spreading “fake news” during the election and promised changes.

What’s really going on with Facebook? Many assume Facebook is somehow working with the government or the NSA. They tell you that your personal pictures are not private once they are uploaded. Are the picture filter features really there so the federal government can store your image in the facial recognition software?

Is changing your profile to support a cause just research to see what triggers people? Is the test we take designed to build a marketing profile so they can sell you things? Facebook is the ONLY social media network that not only suggest you reveal identify but require it. People who attempt to protect themselves from online predators are actually reprimanded for not using their legal name. If they get reported for having a fake name, even if it’s a nickname they are required to submit legal identification to prove who they are or their account will be shut down.  In doing so it puts people’s safety and privacy at stack.

An angry online enemy will take things so far beyond the virtual world and bring it into your personal life. People have been known to call people’s employers, harass their families and do something known as doxing, which is when an online nemesis searches the web for personal details of your life and post them online for the public to shame you.

Is this what community standards really are? In recent years, since the popularity of group pages has grown so has the dreaded “you did not follow community standards message”. Those who fail to follow these rules are usually put in Facebook jail. A first-time infraction is usually 24 hours, but if you are reported continually those punishments escalate to a month, some profiles are removed and some people are just jailed at random because they have been reported in the past. Being in Facebook jail is more annoying than it is a punishment. They allow you to see everything going on, but you cannot interact, you cannot respond, just see. However, they don’t seem to be consistent on what they call community standards. They also seem to have algorithms in place that look for key words that automatically shut down post they don’t agree with. Zuckerberg is by far more lenient with far-left politics and tends to shut down more conservative views, or anything that brings up real issues. Is this just policy, or is this oppression?

In Texas Facebook plans one of its largest Data Centers on a 150-acre campus in Fort Worth’s AllianceTexas master-planned development. The $267 million phase will add another data hall, office space and meeting space to the campus. Currently there are 3 buildings with a total of 5 planned.

That added capacity is filling up servers at the Fort Worth data center campus, with two, 440,000-square-foot data halls that are longer than four football fields expected to be full of servers.

I am sure many of you have noticed when you do a google search, the advertisements for those products show up on your news feed. However, I have seen it go beyond that. Simply having a conversation about something and immediately things associated with that topic pop up on your news feed. Have we unknowingly and voluntarily turned over our freedoms to the government, giving them access to invade our privacy and censor our frees peach?  One can’t help but to wonder why Mark cares so much. Other social media networks provide a warning disclaimer and remove the liability from them, by telling you to join at your own risk. Zuckerberg seems to want ultimate control.

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message you’ve ever sent or been sent, every file you’ve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you’ve ever sent or been sent.

Click here to see your data:

Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you’ve liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic “girl”).

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers you’ve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. It’s just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications you’ve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess I’m interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

They can access your webcam and microphone

The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

The real question is who will be the next social media network? Millions of people are fed up with Facebook and their community standards, invasion of privacy and censorship. Millions of people are ready to move on to the next forum that allows them to stay in touch, speak their mind, share what they choose and meet new people. Is there hope on the horizon? Why did Justin Timberlake buy Myspace in 2011?

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