Is it just my perception or is the fake news phenomenon not slowing down at all? When Facebook announced that it would weed out false reporting I was hopeful it would come to an end. Instead, the frequency of misleading sponsored posts on my timeline has increased and the phenomenon is getting deeper ingrained into our journalistic and even scientific culture. Let me tell you how.
As Internet access only reached the Thai masses after the introduction of the smartphone, Siam has a very different online landscape compared to the West. Online sales caught on relatively recently, but in a very remarkable way. Massive volume isn’t generated in online stores, but on Facebook. Why is that and what dangers does it imply?
Maybe it’s just the remarkable advertising profile Facebook has given me, but adverts on my Facebook wall have been strange for a while. Endless Kickstarter wristwatch suggestions have just given way to middle-aged women with the intention to show their knickers. Written in fluent Gibberish, this particular one reads something like On the feelings of a woman alone, you will have experienced differently. Passion impulse, tremendous delight from here. Recipes, tips and all things kitchen for any level of chef. The links leads to either this blank website or this Facebook page with a picture of a smiling girl. Strange, isn’t it? Who pays for such useless publicity?
With Edward Snowden’s quote that with every concession to our online privacy we are moving towards a turn-key tirrany, I decided to dig through Facebook settings to find what kind of profile the social media behemoth is building of me. Turns out I am a bible-reading Yugoslavic communist member of the Masonic brotherhood with a Eugenist tendency and a preference for kinky lingerie. Slightly relieved that at least some of my privacy measures are throwing them off, it is worrysome that such data is being mined.
Sometimes I feel like building my own Facebook alternative, getting rid of all tracking, monitoring, copyright, privacy, and trolling concerns. Anyone in? 🙂
Big Brother Facebook giving you grief about the cookie settings of your browser? In Firefox, the solution is the Self-destructing Cookies add-on, like suggested earlier. This automatically deletes all cookies after your browser/tab is closed. The first Take Back the Web post will be updated soon, as new insights were gained.
Today, what seemed like a blog post about a cheap android smartphone popped up in my Facebook stream. As I am into technology and online deals, I was drawn to it. The name did not ring any bells, which was explained by the tag line underneath: sponsored (meaning this is a paid ad). What I found under the link was rather surprising.