This seems… not particularly great. Even by Facebook standards.
Ironically, I finally deleted both Facebook and Messenger off my phone last night (I never use them, but still had the apps) and ahahaha I do not regret my life choices!
It’s interesting to ponder the ways in which privacy can be a privilege only for the wealthy. Not everyone can afford an army of hired goons and corporate secret police, an absurd wall in their backyard, and a buffer zone of razed lots around their house. Might similar class privileges someday extend into our digital lives? In the future, who will have the luxury of owning their data?
Jow Veix on stealing Zuckerberg trash.
Also, from this I learnt that there are apparently multiple legal precedents (in the US) that establish curbside trash as public, and because of that there’s a huge industry in the secure disposal of the garbage of rich people. Go figure.
Just over half of Facebook users ages 18 and older (54%) say they have adjusted their privacy settings in the past 12 months, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Around four-in-ten (42%) say they have taken a break from checking the platform for a period of several weeks or more, while around a quarter (26%) say they have deleted the Facebook app from their cellphone. All told, some 74% of Facebook users say they have taken at least one of these three actions in the past year.
There are, however, age differences in the share of Facebook users who have recently taken some of these actions. Most notably, 44% of younger users (those ages 18 to 29) say they have deleted the Facebook app from their phone in the past year, nearly four times the share of users ages 65 and older (12%) who have done so.
Andrew Perrin on Facebook’s changing fortunes.
Yes. Yes! Delete, my pretties! Delete!
Speaking of the Woes of Latter-Day Social Media sites, Om Malik’s profile on “Facebook’s DNA” is an interesting read, particularly if you’re Old™ like me and remember the company’s “move fast and break things” (as opposed to “sell ads and sell ads”) phase.
Mostly, though, it contains this line:
The VPN data [from Facebook Protect] also allows Facebook to better target its ads — much like how Google Mail and Google Chrome allows Google to better target what ads you see. By the way, Facebook isn’t the only one who is taking data from VPN mobile streams. Other data brokers buy data from other VPN apps.
I’ve mentioned this before, but… If you use a VPN, just how much do you trust it?
Related: I really, really need to migrate to Firefox… oy.
Facebook is an absolutely fine repository for the names of people I’ve met in my life, and for photos I have of those people, and it would be a nice memorial to my life when I’m dead. But it has no business being a publisher, and they don’t even like to acknowledge that that’s what they are. Facebook hides behind all of this machinery, when what they’re doing is very human. Recommending things for people is a personal act, and there are people who are good at it. There are critics. There are blogs. It’s not beneficial to us to turn content recommendations over to an algorithm, especially one that’s been optimized for garbage.
Matt Klinman on human interactions.
A quick guide on how to exorcise Facebook from your computer and send it back to the data privacy hell from when it came… permanently.
This is a guide for macOS, but it’s about editing
hosts, so it will work under any operating system. For Windows users, your hosts file lives in
C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc (it’s the file in there literally just called
hosts, no file extension, but it’s just a text file). Just copy-paste the list of domain from page two of the Mac guide into that file. Note you’ll probably need to open a text editor as Administrator first (right click on it, then find the “Run as Administrator” option).
Because the hosts file works at the OS network layer, making changes here will impact everything on the computer. If you block Facebook in
hosts, no app or browser will ever be able to resolve it ever again. Also note that this technique works for literally any domain, and also means you can redirect arbitrary domains to arbitrary IP addresses so, like… I’m not saying that the opportunities to prank people by editing their hosts file exists, but…
A somewhat measured take from Techdirt on the whole “Facebook gave all your data to Satan incarnate, a.k.a. Cambridge Analytica, to help the Russians elect Trump” thing that’s been going on.
The tl;dr of this is basically that this whole thing was Facebook Working As Intended. If that bothers you, then… here you go.
Relevant to Current Events, here’s how to grab a download of all* the data Facebook has on you.
I have an account on Facebook, but I don’t routinely use the platform. Nonetheless, my own data dump was around 220 MB, including the page on “Advertisers with your contact info”: Airbnb, Deliveroo, and Uber.