phillip.e.johnston + bigdata   3

Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life - YouTube
The problem is that behaviour [modification] techniques are often invisible to the person who is being manipulated. This has a long history. … It used to be that the only way to be subjected to continuous observation and modification was to either be in an experiment (you could be in the basement of a psychology building and have students tweaking you for their projects), or you could join a cult, or you could be in an abusive relationship; this has been done before. Often the people who are in these situations [of being observed, manipulated, and modified by social media] do not realise it’s happening to them. The whole point is that it’s sneaky. It’s a mechanical approach to manipulating people and because it’s so algorithmic it doesn't involve direct communication and people don’t get the cues to understand what’s happening to them.
JaronLanier  technology  socialmedia  Facebook  bigdata 
8 weeks ago by phillip.e.johnston
How Facebook Is Killing Comedy - Splitsider
Facebook gets so much traffic that they started convincing publishers to post things on Facebook. For a long time, that was fine. People posted things on Facebook, then you would click those links and go to their websites. But then, gradually, Facebook started exerting more and more control of what was being seen, to the point that they, not our website, essentially became the main publishers of everyone’s content. Today, there’s no reason to go to a comedy website that has a video if that video is just right on Facebook. And that would be fine if Facebook compensated those companies for the ad revenue that was generated from those videos, but because Facebook does not pay publishers, there quickly became no money in making high-quality content for the internet.
technology  Facebook  Zuckerberg  advertising  bigdata 
february 2018 by phillip.e.johnston
John Lanchester reviews ‘The Attention Merchants’ by Tim Wu, ‘Chaos Monkeys’ by Antonio García Martínez and ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ by Jonathan Taplin · LRB 17 August 2017
What this means is that even more than it is in the advertising business, Facebook is in the surveillance business. Facebook, in fact, is the biggest surveillance-based enterprise in the history of mankind. It knows far, far more about you than the most intrusive government has ever known about its citizens. It’s amazing that people haven’t really understood this about the company. I’ve spent time thinking about Facebook, and the thing I keep coming back to is that its users don’t realise what it is the company does. What Facebook does is watch you, and then use what it knows about you and your behaviour to sell ads. I’m not sure there has ever been a more complete disconnect between what a company says it does – ‘connect’, ‘build communities’ – and the commercial reality. Note that the company’s knowledge about its users isn’t used merely to target ads but to shape the flow of news to them. Since there is so much content posted on the site, the algorithms used to filter and direct that content are the thing that determines what you see: people think their news feed is largely to do with their friends and interests, and it sort of is, with the crucial proviso that it is their friends and interests as mediated by the commercial interests of Facebook. Your eyes are directed towards the place where they are most valuable for Facebook.
Facebook  attention  bigdata  Zuckerberg  technology  socialmedia 
february 2018 by phillip.e.johnston

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