Well, according to a recent study, this is so. But still, I will proudly proclaim, “I knew it!”
I don’t know about you, but when I first joined Facebook (back in 2005) I was clicking on everything and anything to interact with the social media site like every other novice user. Do I like cats? Balloons? The summer? Of course I do! Then I’d click, click away. Only a small percentage of me at the time truly questioned what exactly I was liking and what it really meant for the company.
Now, the site has gotten quite a few drastic facelifts over the years, and that coupled with the fact that marketers have been swooning over the platform’s advertising potential have turned many consumers (myself included) off to the idea of “liking” anything digitally anymore.
Findings from a survey published just today – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – were based on some deep digging into data based on consumer interaction that can actually be publically accessed via a public wiki. So what exactly did these results reveal? One thing is for sure – Facebook serves as a truly bottomless pit of personal information more than it openly portary itself to be, according to reports.
Facebook is pretty tricky when you stop to think about it. Remember those spammy, re-posted statuses from friends that were clogging your homepage newsfeed? It would read something along the lines of, “I’m protecting myself against Facebook stealing my personal information…copy and share if you feel the same.” If you’re on the site, you have undoubtedly caught a glimpse of at least one or two of these types of messages while aimlessly scrolling.
I never used to believe any of it, but now, maybe we should all reconsider. And what’s scariest of all?
According to The Verge, “Just because you have set your personal information to private doesn't mean that somebody can't find out a lot about you based on what you've left public.”
Also apparently, depending on what you “like” on the site, the company can pinpoint exactly what kind of person you are. You may be thinking this is too obvious (ie. If you like animals and like a page called, “Animal Lovers,” then it doesn’t leave much left to the imagination). However, The Verge continues to give some rather vivid and detailed examples of this strategy at work:
Clicking the ‘like’ button on ‘The Joy Of Painting With Bob Ross,’ is one of several indicators that it's likely that your parents didn't separate before you turned 21, while (appropriately, this week) liking ‘Austin, Texas’ could be combined with other likes to indicate drug use.”
So…who else is appropriately freaked out right now except me?
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