In case you didn’t know, it’s the day of the General Election in the Uk, which generally means we get to vote for the least evil of political options.
The thing I don’t get about politics, is that looking back we see broken promises, we see abject failure and yet we still treat the next set of lies as if it’s truth, as if it matters.
Now I am not here to rant about the state of local, national or even global politics, I have done this at great length and you don’t need me to do it again, though if you really want me to then just drop me a line.
Today I plan to rant about FaceBook once again, my usual listeners will know that I think the social network is rather insidious and the world would be much better off without it.
But like many people, there are work and personal commitments that require I keep an account, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Seems so innocent, doesn’t he?
And if I trusted FB that would be fine, but as a company who are determined to treat you as a product instead of a person, I just don’t trust profit driven corporations I guess.
For you see, the “I voted” button is ultimately a tool to encourage you to vote, the first step is by showing you the button itself, the second step is through the use of sharing the friends who have clicked “I’ve voted”.
But as we all know, FaceBook doesn’t just straight up show you the information in your profile, it doesn’t show everything in order of occurrence and you can even get the information days later, this shouldn’t surprise anyone at all really, most irritating to me isn’t the lost limited editions or competitions due to FB’s post weighing, it’s having missed out on chances to interact with the musicians and film makers who make the world a little more magical for me.
But again I am diverging from the topic.
FaceBook can not be trusted to show you information, it shows you what it thinks is relevant and when it comes to something like an Election, that isn’t on.
Hell, even if FB turned around and stated that all “I voted” posts are free of their weighing mechanism, I couldn’t trust that as they have been running secret psychological experiments on FB users for years now. Looky here
So tell me, how do you know that FaceBook hasn’t got a system in place to try and determine your political leanings and then show more instances of friends voting if they feel that your perceived voting style is in line with what benefits them as a company?
Do I think FaceBook are doing this? Not right now, do I think they’re capable of this? Oh most certainly.
There’s a mentality in some American businesses that if a CEO ignores a venture that would greatly benefit the company, they’re in breach of contract, just look at how closely big business gets into bed with government over there.
It doesn’t take much to extrapolate from that to a little social engineering to get the right people voting, does it?
I know it sounds like the start of a Dystopian novel, but it’s a possibility that is only a few lines of code away and after all, FaceBook already looks to see if your posts are cheerful or depressive, it doesn’t take much more work to determine which political parties you mention and whether you talk about them positively or not.
I think everyone would agree that having a big business involved with politics is generally a bad idea, and I just don’t see the difference here.
It’s merely using social pressure to encourage voting.
So to sum up, I don’t trust FaceBook and I will not be hitting the “I Voted” button and I invite you to delete it too.
I will however be voting, but that’s between me and the ballot.
Upon closing the “I Voted” button, guess what? Damn thing reappeared in an instant, I did say insidious, right?
Luckily however, pressing the “more information” button seems to slay the beast for now.
There’s FaceBook for you, not caring about what you want.