Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Adaptive homeostasis

Back in 2012, I was confident that people would eventually grow tired of "Facebook ... (which will probably go into unlamented terminal decline as the intrusive, stalker-ish changes required to effectively monitor, control and monetise its users become annoying enough to make many of them abandon Facebook and adopt The Next Big Thing, whatever that turns out to be)."

How wrong I was. Facebook is still there. The creeping intrusiveness has accelerated. But instead of getting angry, or even mildly annoyed, people are calmly adapting to an environment where the most outrageous privacy violations are treated as something perfectly normal:
Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections...

...having acknowledged that people in your address book may not necessarily want to be connected to you, Facebook will then do exactly what it warned you not to do. If you agree to share your contacts, every piece of contact data you possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone you know, no matter how slightly—and you won’t see it happen.
Kashmir Hill

Still not creepy enough for ya? Then check this out:
Facebook has a new strategy for combating revenge porn: It wants to see your nudes first, before an abuser has the chance to spread them.

As part of a new feature the social network is testing in Australia, users are being asked to upload explicit photos of themselves before they send them to anyone else, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

This is how the new feature works. First, you upload an explicit image of yourself to Facebook Messenger (you can do so by starting a conversation with yourself). Then, you flag it as a "non-consensual intimate image" for Facebook.
Louise Matsakis

Is it already too late to point out that absolutely none of this is remotely O.K?