It’s impossible to escape the ubiquity of social media. Whether you are comforted by this disruption or not, it is increasingly accessible to most people, making it a top choice for maintaining personal and public connections. Yet, as with many things captured online, these connections are vulnerable to interference.
Facebook is embroiled in a privacy-failing culture, most prominently seen through its recent Senate hearing over the Cambridge Analytica disgrace. There is no need to explain the situation, since it should now be vaguely understood by anyone using the Western internet. However, to sum up, Analytica is a company that extracted personal information from Facebook users to manipulate ad space and political events. It is a sad, but unsurprising scandal.
Facebook, along with other free platforms, exchange the identity for services. It may be a small price to pay if you get an entire online profile or email account at your beck and call. It may be too much of a cost on privacy for some, who turn to paid, secure services elsewhere. This is something not well understood, or concisely documented, but is the type of information that should be clearly explained prior to use.
Earlier this year, Facebook, or the face of Facebook, has conceded its monstrous role in media consumption. It’s a step toward changing its operations, though at the same time, what’s to say that a savvier, subtler firm won’t manipulate our data? And following that, what we think?
It’s possible, but made more probable if users don’t know what they’re using.
A comedic interpretation of the recent hearing comes from Kimmel as he synopsizes the event with his observations and edits. The last bit of the monologue features a clip of senators asking menial questions about Facebook. Normally, this would stand out as a parody, but this edited clip blurred the lines of reality, reflecting much of the real Senate’s remote outlook on these platforms. It’s the Senate’s “tech illiteracy” that not only left Zuckerberg unscathed, but also unknowing of the Internet’s potential on society.
How can someone make decisions on something they don’t know?