The Controversial Case of Facebook Being Facebook

I guess the outrage du jour is Cambridge Analytica. A data analysis company may have used Facebook profiling to help design and spread messages promoting Donald Trump during the election. It’s a good thing this has come out about a candidate and politician the press universally loathes or you may have never heard about it.

It sounds like Cambridge Analytica circumvented Facebook’s terms of use at least briefly, but keep in mind that their “violation” was technically trivial to pull off. The NSA is doing far more and without any pretense of a legitimate business relationship.

This kind of thing is exactly what Facebook exists for. Facebook is crack for your information-scavenging brain and given to you for free exactly because the data you give it is worth countless billions to those who want to influence you.

If you don’t think it’s a good idea for people you don’t know, with goals you don’t share, to be able to mine the deepest recesses of your interests and behaviors, you have two options. Use Facebook a lot less, or find a platform that does not run on top of a giant centralized data wholesaler. Maybe you’re not bothered at all by the idea. That’s fine too, but at least now you know.

If you’re looking for alternatives, perhaps for a special interest group that otherwise would be a private group on Facebook, take a look at Gab, Minds, or Diaspora.