rhatto: facebook*

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  1. Apesar das repetidas garantias do Facebook de que as informações do usuário são completamente anônimas e agregadas, os materiais do Actionable Insights enfraquecem essa afirmação. Um estudo de caso do Actionable Insights a partir do documento geral promove como uma operadora de telefonia celular norte-americana anônima usou anteriormente seu acesso ao Actionable Insights para segmentar um grupo racial específico e sem nome. A segmentação do Facebook por “grupos de afinidade multicultural”, como a empresa anteriormente se referia à raça, foi descontinuada em 2017 depois que a prática de focalização foi amplamente criticada como potencialmente discriminatória.
    https://theintercept.com/2019/05/22/f...ok-operadoras-celular-vigiam-usuarios
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    https://www.brasildefato.com.br/2019/...lenge-tem-a-ver-com-a-sua-privacidade
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    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018...lytica-facebook-influence-us-election
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    https://amp.theguardian.com/technolog...mental-health-psychology-social-media
    Tags: , , by rhatto (2017-12-16) | Cache | PDF | PNG | Permalink
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    https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/11/1...r-facebook-exec-ripping-apart-society
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    https://staltz.com/the-web-began-dying-in-2014-heres-how.html
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  7. Without knowing it, Zuckerberg is the heir to a long political tradition. Over the last 200 years, the west has been unable to shake an abiding fantasy, a dream sequence in which we throw out the bum politicians and replace them with engineers – rule by slide rule. The French were the first to entertain this notion in the bloody, world-churning aftermath of their revolution. A coterie of the country’s most influential philosophers (notably, Henri de Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte) were genuinely torn about the course of the country. They hated all the old ancient bastions of parasitic power – the feudal lords, the priests and the warriors – but they also feared the chaos of the mob. To split the difference, they proposed a form of technocracy – engineers and assorted technicians would rule with beneficent disinterestedness. Engineers would strip the old order of its power, while governing in the spirit of science. They would impose rationality and order.

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    There’s another way to describe this historical progression. Automation has come in waves. During the industrial revolution, machinery replaced manual workers. At first, machines required human operators. Over time, machines came to function with hardly any human intervention. For centuries, engineers automated physical labour; our new engineering elite has automated thought. They have perfected technologies that take over intellectual processes, that render the brain redundant. Or, as the former Google and Yahoo executive Marissa Mayer once argued, “You have to make words less human and more a piece of the machine.” Indeed, we have begun to outsource our intellectual work to companies that suggest what we should learn, the topics we should consider, and the items we ought to buy. These companies can justify their incursions into our lives with the very arguments that Saint-Simon and Comte articulated: they are supplying us with efficiency; they are imposing order on human life.

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    Like economics, computer science has its preferred models and implicit assumptions about the world. When programmers are taught algorithmic thinking, they are told to venerate efficiency as a paramount consideration. This is perfectly understandable. An algorithm with an ungainly number of steps will gum up the machinery, and a molasses-like server is a useless one. But efficiency is also a value. When we speed things up, we’re necessarily cutting corners; we’re generalising.

    Algorithms can be gorgeous expressions of logical thinking, not to mention a source of ease and wonder. They can track down copies of obscure 19th-century tomes in a few milliseconds; they put us in touch with long-lost elementary school friends; they enable retailers to deliver packages to our doors in a flash. Very soon, they will guide self-driving cars and pinpoint cancers growing in our innards. But to do all these things, algorithms are constantly taking our measure. They make decisions about us and on our behalf. The problem is that when we outsource thinking to machines, we are really outsourcing thinking to the organisations that run the machines.

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    But how do the engineers know which dial to twist and how hard? There’s a whole discipline, data science, to guide the writing and revision of algorithms. Facebook has a team, poached from academia, to conduct experiments on users. It’s a statistician’s sexiest dream – some of the largest data sets in human history, the ability to run trials on mathematically meaningful cohorts. When Cameron Marlow, the former head of Facebook’s data science team, described the opportunity, he began twitching with ecstatic joy. “For the first time,” Marlow said, “we have a microscope that not only lets us examine social behaviour at a very fine level that we’ve never been able to see before, but allows us to run experiments that millions of users are exposed to.”

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    The many Facebook experiments add up. The company believes that it has unlocked social psychology and acquired a deeper understanding of its users than they possess of themselves. Facebook can predict users’ race, sexual orientation, relationship status and drug use on the basis of their “likes” alone. It’s Zuckerberg’s fantasy that this data might be analysed to uncover the mother of all revelations, “a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about”. That is, of course, a goal in the distance. In the meantime, Facebook will keep probing – constantly testing to see what we crave and what we ignore, a never-ending campaign to improve Facebook’s capacity to give us the things that we want and things we don’t even know we want. Whether the information is true or concocted, authoritative reporting or conspiratorial opinion, doesn’t really seem to matter much to Facebook. The crowd gets what it wants and deserves.

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    The engineering mindset has little patience for the fetishisation of words and images, for the mystique of art, for moral complexity or emotional expression. It views humans as data, components of systems, abstractions. That’s why Facebook has so few qualms about performing rampant experiments on its users. The whole effort is to make human beings predictable – to anticipate their behaviour, which makes them easier to manipulate. With this sort of cold-blooded thinking, so divorced from the contingency and mystery of human life, it’s easy to see how long-standing values begin to seem like an annoyance – why a concept such as privacy would carry so little weight in the engineer’s calculus, why the inefficiencies of publishing and journalism seem so imminently disruptable.

    Facebook would never put it this way, but algorithms are meant to erode free will, to relieve humans of the burden of choosing, to nudge them in the right direction. Algorithms fuel a sense of omnipotence, the condescending belief that our behaviour can be altered, without our even being aware of the hand guiding us, in a superior direction. That’s always been a danger of the engineering mindset, as it moves beyond its roots in building inanimate stuff and begins to design a more perfect social world. We are the screws and rivets in the grand design.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolog...017/sep/19/facebooks-war-on-free-will
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    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product
    Tags: by rhatto (2017-09-07) | Cache | PDF | PNG | Permalink
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  9. The general public are completely in the dark about very fundamental issues regarding online search and influence. We are talking about the most powerful mind-control machine ever invented in the history of the human race. And people don’t even notice it.

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    They are absolutely thinking long term. They have the resources, the money, and the ambition to do whatever they want.

    “They want to digitise every book in the world: they do it. They want to build a self-driving car: they do it. The fact that people are reading about these fake news stories and realising that this could have an effect on politics and elections, it’s like, ‘Which planet have you been living on?’ For Christ’s sake, this is obvious.”

    “The internet is among the few things that humans have built that they don’t understand.” It is “the largest experiment involving anarchy in history. Hundreds of millions of people are, each minute, creating and consuming an untold amount of digital content in an online world that is not truly bound by terrestrial laws.” The internet as a lawless anarchic state? A massive human experiment with no checks and balances and untold potential consequences? What kind of digital doom-mongerer would say such a thing? Step forward, Eric Schmidt – Google’s chairman. They are the first lines of the book, The New Digital Age, that he wrote with Jared Cohen.

    We don’t understand it. It is not bound by terrestrial laws. And it’s in the hands of two massive, all-powerful corporations. It’s their experiment, not ours. The technology that was supposed to set us free may well have helped Trump to power, or covertly helped swing votes for Brexit. It has created a vast network of propaganda that has encroached like a cancer across the entire internet. This is a technology that has enabled the likes of Cambridge Analytica to create political messages uniquely tailored to you. They understand your emotional responses and how to trigger them. They know your likes, dislikes, where you live, what you eat, what makes you laugh, what makes you cry.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technolog...ocracy-truth-internet-search-facebook
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  10. Based on a systematic review and evaluation of business reports, documents, statistics, literature and press releases, this paper analyzes the market conce ntration and the expansion and innovation strategies of the leading internet companies Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. The findings invalidate any claims that a decentralization of the market and a democratization of the internet is taking p lace, or that research, development and innovation processes are becoming more open and collaborative. The five examined companies, as the operators of the core infrastructures of the worldwide web, shape the overall products and services offer of the inte rnet, determine access to the web, structure the communication possibilities for users, and are the main drivers of innovation in this field. Not decentralization, democratization and open innovation, but market concentration, control and power struggles a re categories to adequately describe the fundamental dynamics of the commercial internet.

    author » Ulrich Dolata
    http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/soz/oi/pu....Amazon.Google.Facebook.Microsoft.pdf
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