There were dozens of stories online about people getting freaked out by ads that seem like they only could have come from Facebook eavesdropping on their conversations. It would be a massive amount of work and data processing for marginally better ad targeting.
Like the That’s meant to be reassuring: they’re not listening to you because they don’t have to. Facebook knows so much about you they can make you believe they’re listening to your personal conversations.
They have so much data about you they can send you ads that have an uncanny relevance to what is going on in the real world.
Imagine, for a moment, that you had a friend with this level of knowledge about you. It all depends on what they do with the information, and how well you can trust them with it.
It’s similar to the problem I outlined in my article on the switch from search to social.
As we moved away from actively looking for things on the Internet, having them fed to us instead, we became more passive informational consumers.
But in the process, Facebook has changed friendship from an active to a passive process.Someone who knows everywhere you go, what you like, what you fear, what you want, who you hang out with, how happy you are at any given moment. Now imagine the friend can use their information about you to make money, say by manipulating your decisions to benefit them.And imagine they’re the kind of morally bankrupt person who would take advantage of their friend this way. Since they can make money by manipulating your decisions, they’ll try to manipulate your decisions.You can sit back and wait for some update to appear from a friend or acquaintance and then respond to it.You don’t have to put in any effort to reach out and ask what’s going on, you get it fed to your by the magical friend algorithms.The problem with Facebook is that its managed to gain such a monopoly on our digital presence that we worry about quitting it.