ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context: SocialSoftwareProblems

(ReadWith) AlwaysOnPanopticon

It's what we live in.

TheSocialDilemma is a good documentary that warns how pervasive and addictive it's become.


CoryDoctorow on how to destroy it :



Quora Answer : How does Facebook know I am gay?

Jun 16, 2014

I have no insider knowledge, but here are some plausible hypotheses :

1) you've visited gay sites that have Facebook "like" buttons on them. Every time one of these pages loaded, it called back to the Facebook server to get that button. The Facebook server then got to look at the cookies that it left on your machine when you were using Facebook itself, so it could identify who you were.

Therefore Facebook knows that you visit those sites, even though you've never actually clicked on any of those "like" buttons. Just the fact that the buttons are on the page allows it to put 2+2 together.

2) you have a lot of gay friends on Facebook who do list their sexuality.

Yes, this is a scandal. Everyone should understand this about Facebook (and other similar social sites) Everyone should understand this part of how the web works. If someone can put a button on a page, that someone gets to see when you access that page. And can tie your movements to all the other pages with their buttons which you've been to (which for Facebook is a lot)

Facebook knows more about you (and more about most of its users) than almost anyone else does.

If you want to protect yourself, get a cookie blocker / ad-blocker plugin for your browser. Although, ideally, you should stop using Facebook if you can. (I closed my account last year. Partly because of the intrusive surveillance culture that sites like FB are growing into.)

Update : it's worth reading this story : Facebook turns user tracking 'bug' into data mining 'feature' for advertisers