The Surveillance State Is Worse Than You Think
It Never Ceases to Astound Me How,
no matter the latest horrendous scandal that’s uncovered about Facebook, (recently it’s effectively been a weekly occurrence - just type “facebook” into a Google search and look under the “News” tab) that most people just don’t seem to care. Are we that intrinsically narcissistic that we’re willing to give ourselves over to this one corporation, control over our data and privacy, including undue influence over our politics and elections?
I mean, I know it’s really important for everyone to share their every waking thought about what they had for lunch and all the TV they watch, books they read, music they like and asinine anti-vaxx memes they believe, but…
Seriously, it’s like everyone collectively lost their damn minds when they realized how easy it was to share their bad photos and terrible opinions with this “free” service that makes it’s billions from selling our data back to us as targeted advertising, or as Annie Clark so eloquently puts it, in Digital Witness, “Won't somebody sell me back to me?”
Facebook is a somewhat evil.
It’s Worse Than You Think
See what’s missing there? Necessary. Cause it’s really not. Necessary, or essential. Though we’ve all come to believe it so within our mass delusion that you “have” to be on social media. There’s no have to. I choose to use Twitter, because for me unlike Facebook’s incessant, full blast firehose of irrelevant data, from friends of friends of friends of friends, consisting mostly of the inane mundanity of everyone’s lives, horribly bad and counter factual “memes”, conspiracy theories and dumb lists like “Top Ten Records That Changed Your Life”, Twitter is merely a news and discussion source and though I’m connected to a few, actual friends I had before any of us knew the term “social media”, I use it mostly to follow interesting people. Journalists, historians, writers and some political and social justice warriors (actual, activist ones, not just blowhards like me), comedians, artists and yes, some politicians. All because I like to keep abreast of what’s going on out there, especially living as we all are in this era of the proto-authoritarian, cult of the Trump!
Speaking of Hair Hitler, some have mentioned that maybe I should keep my personal Twitter separate from my professional web presence as a web designer. The argument being I guess that seeing my generally political, progressive and rather prolific retweets and the occasional rants, may turn off some potential clients. And actually, I honestly think that’s a net positive, because if at this point, any potential client who is a Trump supporter and therefore okay with innocent kids dying in government custody at our border & every other heinous act this douchetastic, malignant narcissist, his complicit and equally sociopathic family, sycophantic lackeys/enablers in Congress and most of all his cruel and rabid, white victimhood/persecution complex base, then fuck them. Seriously I don’t want their business. It’s my small way of taking a stand and since at the moment I’m dealing with the aftermath of a kidney transplant and the cancer that caused my renal failure, that’s about all I can muster.
Anyhow, back to Facebook. Yeah, umm they fuckin’ suck for basically, almost single handedly creating the surveillance state we’re all living out the consequences of now. Oh they’re not alone of course. Their business model of collecting data on all of us, wether we even have an account with them or not, to mine and then turn around and sell to advertisers to make their billions is essentially the same as Google’s, except with better search and sub optimal, but “free” software services and Amazon, who sells more widgets because they do the same thing. Meanwhile Twitter wishes they had the user base and ability to mine data the way Aphabet and Amazon do at scale.
So where is this all leading?
Nowhere good. With the advancements in AI, facial recognition and now AI driven “deep fakes”, we’re at the point where it will soon be impossible to perceive the difference between actual vs fake video footage alongside the photoshop fuckery that’s been happening for years and is getting better and better. And this is all data driven and all made possible by our willing participation in the collective narcissism of the social media paradigm. The grand bargain of “free” platforms which allow us all to indulge our most base narcissism and to create and produce the “show” of our lives online, in exchange for Facebook, Google and Amazon achieving total information awareness, ultimate knowledge of and dominance over our lives, including as we’ve discovered in the past few years, even our elections.
Still, this makes me very happy:
Man what I’d give to slug the smug off that douchenozzle’s face.