I Still Hate Facebook. And Google.
Even though the platform keeps me updated on people’s birthdays, it seems that every week brings a new revelation about Facebook mischief. Society-corroding mischief! (And it’s not like Facebook contributes to public discourse. No one was ever convinced of anything because of a rancorous thread.)
And after reading Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, it only confirmed for me that Facebook, sadly, is not alone…
Google is also implicated in unsavoury practices… despite their outward facing assertions to the contrary. While Sergey Brin and Larry Page advanced their “don’t be evil” culture on the one hand, Google also realized with its other hand that it had unrivalled access to your behaviour. And when your behaviour can be so easily observed and measured and quantified into units, that data could be analyzed and used to predict future behaviour. And then, that information could be sold to advertisers. Advertisers would then use the behavioural predictions to try to modify your behaviour, getting you to buy what the advertisers are selling by approaching you with a proposition that was eerily prescient, and eerily well-timed. Creepy – and definitely not kosher.
I suppose this was clear from the outset. When something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product. Duh.
So here’s my dilemma – which I share with you. I would love to hear what y’all think about this issue, especially since this issue is not going away any time soon…
Should ADRABA continue to have a presence on Facebook and use Google ads and analytics? Is it acceptable to use platforms that have done (and continue to do) so much bad – to try to do good? (And yes, I am quantifying what we’re trying to do at ADRABA as “good.” We have receipts!) Or should we rationalize our continued presence on these platforms as “necessary evils”?
Feel free to respond via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a note via Facebook messenger or post your thoughts on our Facebook page. (Yes, I am aware of the irony.)