Software is Not Evil, People are Evil.

Social media is only as good as the people who make it

As my good friend Chris Trottier has said, “This is pretty low even for Facebook

Carefully read all the grey text between “Text anyone in your phone” and “Learn More”. Right underneath that cute Abominable Snowman who apparently loves Facebook.  Just cute enough to draw your attention away from the text in light grey below.

I have been treated better by things I have scraped off the bottom of my shoe.

Thanks Kashmir Hill of Gizmodo for drawing our attention to some of the most openly despicable behaviour I have ever seen from a group of people running a company.  

Facebook is evil, folks — pure and simple — but it was the people who made it evil.  

A piece of software on its own cannot be evil.  Add extravagantly wealthy, in-human managers with loose ethics and carte-blanche access to every piece of information you could ever possibly collect on 2 billion people and you have the recipe for pure evil also known as Facebook.

How about this for a response from the help desk guys at Facebook when you call them out on a serious breach of your trust.  Consider this official statement from Facebook:

We take privacy seriously and of course want to make sure people have a safe and positive experience on Facebook.

We test a variety of signals for People You May Know and suggestions are always based on multiple signals.

What the hell does this mean?  We test signals? “This is my personal life you are talking about you f–king a**hole!!” rushed through my mind when I read this. This is evidence of a complete disregard for the basic humanity of all their users.

Facebook’s internal word for all the personal data they can possibly collect on all of us is a signal. Your personal telephone number is a signal, your personal SMS history is a signal.  

If Facebook decides they can make money off providing my personal telephone number and SMS history to someone they will just grab those 2 signals from me and if they don’t have to ask me for permission, even better.  Who lives there lives like this? This is the behaviour of predators folks. At Facebook it is kill or be killed with no regard for the effect their decisions may have on those people at the end of all the signals they are manipulating.

These emails were not written by Facebook, they were written by people who work at Facebook, Let’s remember that. Software alone cannot make the decision to exploit your data and software alone cannot decide what you see in your timeline.

The evil algorithm that everyone hates was programmed by people and unleashed on Facebook users to collect and index their data sometimes with, and sometimes without, your permission. That is pure evil, profit-at-all-costs, human decision making.

Has anyone at Facebook got the morals to stand up for what is right for their users? Surely this would ultimately be the responsibility of the top executives at Facebook. People like Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg must surely bear responsibility for acting in their users best interests not just the best interests of Facebook shareholders?  They do and they made the choice to focus on shareholders at the expense of users at is why they both must go.

Seriously folks, it is time to wake up and stop allowing social media to do this to all of us.

Michael Cholod

Peer Social will change the world!

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