By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial
Facebook has been on fire lately. And this is not the type of fire that means you’ve been trending and achieving. This is the fire that signifies a burn to the ground.
It is the fire that results from the masses realizing that you have sacrificed psychological freedom on the altar of crony corporate profits mixed with disgusting, primitive democracy.
On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission officially announced it was moving forward with an investigation surrounding the actions of the social media giant. They are doing this in response to a week of privacy scandals implicating that Facebook may have engaged in unfair acts, resulting in “substantial injury” to its users.
What exactly happened, though? Few know the full story, with bits and pieces trickling through their Facebook feed, ironically.
An organization by the name of Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm, was used as Steve Bannon’s secret weapon in the 2016 election to gather data about 50 million Facebook users and create psychological profiles that would allow them to target. They would do this by utilizing fabricated stories and eventually sway voters in favor of the desired candidates.
We know this because Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on the operation. He was integral to the development of the program, having close ties with it every step of the way.
Yeah, it wasn’t the Russian boogiemen. It was Steve Bannon utilizing Mark Zuckerberg’s platform to get as close to mass mind control as he could, leaving privacy in the ditch with every opportunity.
To pour gasoline on the fire, a former Facebook manager made clear that hundreds of millions (yes, you read that number right) have had their data reaped for the use of private companies.
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson came out and explained just how far this data grabbing goes:
“The most important part of apps and services that help you make connections is to make it easy to find the people you want to connect with. So, the first time you sign in on your phone to a messaging or social app, it’s a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts.
“Contact uploading is optional. People are expressly asked if they want to give permission to upload their contacts from their phone – it’s explained right there in the apps when you get started. People can delete previously uploaded information at any time and can find all the information available to them in their account and activity log from our Download Your Information tool.”
Many have jumped on the bandwagon, including Elon Musk. He removed both Tesla and SpaceX’s pages from the platform, following a challenge from a Twitter user. This has blossomed into a larger movement that has begun to be known as #DeleteFacebook on the tweeting machine.
The market is already deciding. Facebook stocks are plummeting, and people are choosing that they are done with this. Yes, we agreed for them to do these things with our data when we signed the terms of service, and yes we have let Facebook walk all over us before. It is about time we stop. We reserve the right to not be consumers for Facebook and to encourage others to leave too.
As the FTC steps in, and we see the abhorrent actions of such an organization, it is critical that we take this opportunity to exercise our power as consumers within the market. Do your part, and take your data away from Facebook. Don’t let them use your data to allow companies to target you and exert subconscious influence upon you.