What does Facebook learn about you when you rainbowify your profile pic?

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There really isn’t any aspect of facebook that you should use (full stop, ideally) without imagining Zuckerberg smirking at you from under his hoodie, like a terrifying CEO/ceilingcat hybrid.

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks.


Replace Facebook with “the internet” and Zuckerberg with “someone” and you’re probably right.


Just like all those things in the games category on the bbs, too.

#If you’re not collecting data (or affiliatizing your links), you’re doing it wrong.

Fortunately, you can always opt out.

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It’s not science, but I believe that social media has been a HUGE influence in shifting opinion on gay marriage.

Yesterday I was in NYC for the Pride Parade. Talk about joy! And our group’s conversation went to how people’s opinions have changed so rapidly on this subject. Remember that when Obama first came into office he was opposed to gay marriage? Remember when Biden let it slip at some public event that he supported it and there was a collective “Uh oh,” from the White House? That wasn’t so long ago.

I feel like the conversations that took place on Facebook were a major influence on moving the needle, and moving the needle so far so fast. Remember when all those people boycotted Chik-Fil-A and everyone was talking about how nasty those charities that their foundation supported are (and now the owner supports them still out of his private money)? I think people spoke up and started changing people’s minds and hearts.

To me, Facebook gets to celebrate with rainbows and find out who is switching their photos. I don’t think just because they provide a filter the company itself has changed the political system for their own agenda; they are providing the tools for people to express their feelings about an issue that has dominated social media for years out of the groundswell of support that has been built by the organizations, like the HRC, that are using social media effectively.


The difference is that Facebook is an enormous personal data collection exercise with a friendly front end that goes to some lengths to conceal the fact. Its valuation only makes sense if you assume that the shareholders believe that at some point that data will general huge payback - and that isn’t going to be for the herd but the farmer.
Facebook also has the ability to influence people’s thinking on social and political issues. Collecting data about these issues over a period of time may eventually allow someone to sell political influence by tweaking Facebook. This is far more dangerous than media which merely tell you what someone has looked at but not how they responded to it.

Zuckerberg is obsessive about his privacy but he wants to destroy other people’s. Yet somehow the US government doesn’t investigate him. Is that because both main political parties imagine that one day they may want to make use of his data?


To be fair, a lot of bigoted idiots who prospered in the 1950s have also died in the last 10 years.

I think this allowed the needle to move that far that fast. I think this is the long tail of the Summer of Love, basically.

Edited to add: They taught their children well, fed them on their dreams, etc…


RIP, assholes.


rAmen. Here’s to natural causes. :beer:


Well, I believe even BoingBoing does its own analytics. I can’t begin to imagine how different they are from Facebook, but at least there is some degree of anonymity. Not that my activity couldn’t be tracked and cross referenced.

The big deal for me is how people are naive and stupid about their activities on Facebook. Sometimes I read comments on posts and I can’t believe people are actually using their real profiles while saying the most stupid things.

To be fair, he’s not sneaking in and planting bugs in your underoos. People are handing him their privacy, and for some reason they expect him to treat it with respect, when he has proven a dozen times he will violate your trust as soon as somebody offers him a dollar for it.

Now I expect to be flamed to kingdom come for “victim blaming,” but really, don’t send Zuckerberg your naked selfies. You may as well post them on 4chan.

Strongly agree.

An exercise I recommend to anyone that posts regularly to Facebook:

Set up a recurring event on your calendar for every 3 months

When it comes up, recruit some friends in different groups to test out your privacy settings to see if they are doing what you think they are doing.

Back when I was using FB as my primary social network, I found that it took a few tries to make the permissions work like I wanted. It was intentionally misleading in the description of what they did. I also found that when they rolled out “enhancements”, that permissions got reset to defaults and no longer did what you set them up to do.

All in all, they actively try to get you to share things more publicly than you want to. Facebook cannot be trusted.

FWIW, Google+ passes this exercise with flying colors, so I only really post stuff there. The net result is that I spend a lot less time puttering with social media.


I’ve pretty much taken the approach that everything I do online is public. Some places are more public than others, but I don’t expect anything to be secret. On Facebook, G+ et alia I never post anything to a small subset of “friends” because I only want them to see it and to keep others from seeing it. If I don’t want somebody to see something, I don’t post it online. although I might send it in an email or SMS.

Because I didn’t want to be accused of a Godwin (by people who don’t understand what Mike G actually wrote) I didn’t pursue the analogy with the rise of Hitler. But of course that’s a much smaller version of what he achieved; he persuaded people to give him the uncontrolled power of life and death over them. And they voted for him to do it!
I know that “sheeple” is a hugely overworked meme, but that’s because it has such wide applicability.

Oh go on. Say it. You know you want to.

go on…

OK. If a discussion goes on long enough on IRC, eventually someone will make a comparison to the Nazis. (Lex Godwiniensis)

However, Facebook is actually more like the Stasi, which recruited just about everybody in East Germany to report on everybody else, saving them a lot of bother.


But wait, What is Boing Boing learning from the data from the posts I comment on?

I do love some paranoia, and I do hate the argument that we should just accept that we have no privacy. That said, We are social online. Being a member of a social network that deleted my every action after I posted it would be a completely frustrating thing.

Yes, we should demand only responsible use of the data providers collect on us, but I don’t know that I need to be afraid that things I am proud of will be used against me by the corporatocracy and therefore opt out of online socializing. As someone that works from home its sort of vital to my sanity.

Great quote!

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One of my friends on Facebook (actually a dog) did his own rainbowifying with Photoshop, both producing a much more lovely result, and not triggering the “I heart teh gayz” blackmail data that all my other friends are now subject to.