After news came out that Facebook was showing targeted advertising to vulnerable teens, the social media giant was quick to explain that this was nothing more than a misunderstanding. A former Facebook executive claims that "they’re lying through their teeth," which should not come as a surprise considering their emotional experiments and long history of questionable actions. Ultimately the problem is not just how using Facebook makes you feel but that targeted advertising can change how you think about yourself.
Just as Mark Zuckerberg was being disingenuous (to put it mildly) when, in the wake of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, he expressed doubt that Facebook could have flipped the presidential election.
Facebook deploys a political advertising sales team, specialized by political party, and charged with convincing deep-pocketed politicians that they do have the kind of influence needed to alter the outcome of elections.
I was at Facebook in 2012, during the previous presidential race. The fact that Facebook could easily throw the election by selectively showing a Get Out the Vote reminder in certain counties of a swing state, for example, was a running joke.
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|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“This 160-step biochemical process is very well studied, and surprisingly inefficient.”|
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|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|“Within 30 years, half of humanity won't have a job. It could get ugly — there could be a revolution.”|
|“After 78 years, the helicopter has been reinvented.”|