Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saving Face... Book

Saving Face....Book

Many people feel that Facebook is a sort of devil's tool. Something that you sort of have to have but at the same time they make it really hard to like it. I know of a lot of people who left as soon as they started rolling out Timelines - a feature that pretty much made mapping out your entire life online possible.

In actuality, Timeline is just how they display content on your profile. It looks cool at first but it's a really difficult way to try to read someone's profile. Let alone attempting to keep things private and not completely out there about yourself and your actions is a bit of a pain in the ass.

It's too late for me to delete it. I'm too far down the rabbit hole in it, I have my entire life going back nearly 8 years on it and do most of my social planning via it. So it's kind of a stuck situation for me.

Look at myself, my facebook is and always has been under a false name and I basically untag anything that is labeled as myself and you need to go through some hoops to label pictures of me. So it's not really so bad. I have like 70 friends and my wall is basically as plain as it can be. I generally just post links to these articles I write and every now and then I get some old high school friend or random friend of friend tell me "I read all your articles, you're pretty insightful" and I'm all, hmm, I guess I have some facebook fanclub. Neato.

On the flip side, I also succeeded in making everyone who wasn't a communist red bastard loathe my post and dread my status updates on something most people enjoy.

This doesn't mean I don't get why people hate it. I mean, has Facebook even pretended that it's anything more than a giant data gathering farm for advertisers at this point? It has got to be some of the scummiest practices around, even by American standards. And yet we all just love it so. I'm not sure why America trust it so much.

It's gotten to the point that you can be turned down for a job because not having a Facebook account is seen as suspicious activity. I can't be bothered to dig up the article, but Facebook is so much of an important aspect to the hiring process, at least for particular jobs, that you won't get them if you don't have a social media profile.

Like, it's as if not having a Facebook or not using it makes you be seen as not being a "social person" or something like that. Also, if you don't have a Facebook account, that sets off red flags because Facebook is so ubiquitous that not having one must mean you did something bad to get banned, which speaks of what kind of person you are.

I sort of wish I was making this up but here we are. Lots of jobs now also like to ask for your Facebook password so they can check your shit and also if you DO have a Facebook, you better be careful about what you say because if you complain about your job or you complain about customers who make you stay literally like an hour or two after your shift is up at as a waiter and then leave a $5 tip, you can possibly get fired because of it.

While I like the aspect of using the internet to talk to people from across the country or whatever, it seems like we constantly use technology for the wrongest things possible. Especially when it's something like "social media integration" - Because really, how on earth could they ever really justify asking for your password. I'm thinking it's this article.

It basically shows that wanting to have some semblance of privacy means you're suspicious. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear - or some Orwellian stance like that. I mean, they already basically fucked you by allowing your friends the ability to share your profile with the government
A federal judge has ruled that investigators can go through your Facebook profile if one of your friends gives them permission to do so. The decision, which is part of a New York City racketeering trial, comes as courts struggle to define privacy and civil liberties in the age of social media.
In an order issued on Friday, US District Judge William Pauley III ruled that accused gangster Melvin Colon can’t rely on the Fourth Amendment to suppress Facebook evidence that led to his indictment. Colon had argued that federal investigators violated his privacy by tapping into his profile through an informant who was one of this Facebook friends.
The informant’s Facebook friendship served to open an online window onto Colon’s alleged gangster life, revealing messages he posted about violent acts and threats to rival gang members. The government used this information to obtain a search warrant for the rest of Colon’s Facebook account. The Colon information is part of a larger investigation into crack-dealing and murder in the Bronx.
Fucking hell, I have to laugh at this shit. This is the real clinchers;
Ironically, Colon’s current account suggests that the government’s ability to peruse Facebook profiles may have become even easier since the introduction of the Facebook Timeline. The feature can in some cases reveal past events and status updates to the public unless a user changes his or her privacy settings.
HAHAHAHAHA Privacy settings... HA!

Don't even bother asking if it's secure and safe if you set your Facebook to private. That is a joke in itself and Facebook can easily change that setting without your permission and most of all, without you even realizing it. They did just change everyone's email address to some generic @Facebook address, after all.

I think the best thing about Myspace, and why I miss it just a little is that the private messages had two options at the bottom of it -
Reply to Message and Remove From Friends.

made it completely easy to just delete friends and keep some sort of level of privacy from others. Be it you were going to be bombarded by stupid indie bands trying to sell their record.

Don't get me started on twitter. I can't hold myself to only 140 characters and thus I hate that program. I simply refuse to be constrained to 140 characters, we're not posting in London during the blitz with letter rationing in full swing.

Ironically enough, that post was less than 140 characters.

You have to admit, Facebook is really creepy. I constantly get recommendations friend wise that Facebook just shouldn't know about, it's ability to make connections based on information given is fucking scary good and I've been recommended to add a shit lot of people I knew in real life from college and family functions and the such despite FB not knowing what college I went to.

This is done by Facebook making "dark profiles" of people mentioned in updates and shit by other people. So if you don't have a Facebook account, but like your mom or brother or friend or something mentioned you - congratulations, you have one sitting around off the grid just waiting for you to sign up and "officially" activate it.

Then again, Facebook is literally the only way most people have to stay in touch with some of their friends and it does serve as a good information organizing platform. That said, you need to basically accept that everything you do on the internet is being watched.

So the way around all this is basically not care too much about it anymore.

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