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22-03-2018, 19:08   #1
hatrickpatrick
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Does anyone else find the whole Facebook ads / fake news "scandal" moronic?

Does anyone else feel that it's peoples' own fault if they are affected by online fake news / political propaganda and this latest Cambridge Analytica thing?

I come from an age in which the internet was not considered serious business and the first rule was "on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog" - in other words, check your sources and don't believe what you read unless you know where it's coming from. To that end, all these "scandals" about fake news, Facebook marketing, social media "manipulation" etc are actually just all covers for a different root issue - too many people have become gullible idiots who'll believe any old ****e they see on the internet regardless of where it originates - and, indeed, sometimes without even knowing or caring where it originates.

In my view, it's those peoples' own fault if they get manipulated. I have about as much sympathy as I do for the people who actually fall for the "Nigerian prince 419" email scam and end up getting their bank accounts fleeced - if you place your trust in random **** from the internet and make major life decisions based on it, then to be honest you probably just shouldn't be using the internet at all. The only "action" required from Facebook, in my view, is to include a message which says "This is the internet. A lot of things written on it are completely made up bull****, and have been since the feckin' thing has existed. If you want facts, turn on the TV or read a newspaper - social media is for ****s and giggles, and should be regarded, like Wikipedia, as an inherently unreliable source".

I find it pretty sad that we're now talking about regulating the internet in an extensive way just because there seems to be a whole generation of idiots out there for whom the "don't take stuff written by random people online seriously" principle has not sunk in. We should be telling them to change their own behaviour, not forcing the internet to change for them.

Tl;dr - reputable news websites are for serious business. Social media is for cat videos, party photos, and time-wasting memes. Ignore this, and it's your own damn fault if you end up voting for someone you otherwise wouldn't have.

Anyone else feel this way? It pisses me off that cool, fun things on the internet might be about to get ruined, regulated or shut down because there are too many morons who aren't capable of understanding the principle that the internet is not necessarily a reliable source of information about current affairs, and that social media is explicitly designed for soapboxing and advertising - not giving an accurate or balanced picture of world events. That's what the Six One news is for. Facebook shouldn't be under any obligation to do anything about this, as the real problem here is people using social media for something it was never designed to be used for. Their own stupidity, tbh.

How many of you on AH have honestly ever made a decision about who to vote for based on something you read on Facebook or Twitter? Seriously?
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22-03-2018, 19:11   #2
dudara
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There have always been idiots and there will always continue to be idiots. The internet is just a more efficient means of spreading mistruth and misinformation. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to protect them.
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22-03-2018, 19:15   #3
hatrickpatrick
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There have always been idiots and there will always continue to be idiots. The internet is just a more efficient means of spreading mistruth and misinformation. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to protect them.
If by protecting them you mean educating people about the very basic fact that the internet is anonymous and a lot of what gets written on it is bullsh!t, then fine by me. But I am absolutely loathe to see the internet become another one of those cases of "restrict everyone's freedom in order to protect a small minority of muppets", like so many other things. I don't see why the rest of us shouldn't still get to have our online craic just because there are some people out there who just shouldn't be using it at all.
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22-03-2018, 19:17   #4
 
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If by protecting them you mean educating people about the very basic fact that the internet is anonymous and a lot of what gets written on it is bullsh!t, then fine by me. But I am absolutely loathe to see the internet become another one of those cases of "restrict everyone's freedom in order to protect a small minority of muppets", like so many other things. I don't see why the rest of us shouldn't still get to have our online craic just because there are some people out there who just shouldn't be using it at all.
Probably the same people who think video games cause school shootings.
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22-03-2018, 19:19   #5
dudara
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We’re all susceptible to influence, some of us more than others. But to think that you’re not is foolhardy. Everyone of us will get caught out at some stage.

A function of society is to protect the weaker members. Some of that can be preventative through education, some of it will be preventative through rules.

I do personally think we have a lot of stupidity in the world right now but I bet you someone was saying the exact same thing back in Egypt 2,000 years ago.
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22-03-2018, 19:20   #6
kneemos
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Facebook Always struck me as a bit tyrannical.
Don't like it or engage with it much. It does appear to be a particularly effective kind of direct marketing though.
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22-03-2018, 19:23   #7
endacl
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There have always been idiots and there will always continue to be idiots. The internet is just a more efficient means of spreading mistruth and misinformation. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to protect them.
More to the point, idiots with a vote. I’m aware of a young lady who swears by putting sliced onions in her socks whenever she gets a cold. Because she read it on the internet. Even tracing the source of the bull5hit, and showing her the source, and explaining how there is no mechanism whereby onions under your feet can have any effect whatsoever on a virus in the respiratory system, she still swears by cold-bustin’ sock onions.

I’m honestly not that bothered about protecting idiots. I am interested in protecting the systems whereby we make collective decisions that effect all of us, though.
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22-03-2018, 19:23   #8
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I'd probably be of a similar vintage, and yeah, the internet was always something you wouldn't take too seriously.Or there was always the possibility it was a pisstake. But yeah times are changing. I suppose it's gotten more sinister or something, but on some level I think it would lose some of its charm if you couldn't take the piss. Yeah, this is kind of why I'm still weird about internet dating..id definitely not be surprised if instead of that eastern European cutie id arrive up and there'd be some fat 50 year old dude..
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22-03-2018, 19:27   #9
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Its a knee jerk reaction.
People are acting butthurt and surprised that a platform spefically designed to profile consumers to allow specific and targeted advertising, was exploited by a company to allow specific and targeted ads!

Facebook should never have allowed a permission that enables 3rd party access to profiles that did not explicitly consent.
It should not have been allowed that by 1 person accepting a 3rd party app, that their entire friend list is fair game.
I can't contract on behalf of a 3rd party, and my choice to complete the survey or app that allowed the access should only have allowed access to my profile, not every profile associated with me.

I dont use or authorise 3rd party apps on FB for this very reason.
Aside from the usual profile privacy awareness.
Granted C.A made much more specific use of the data than most, but it really was only to be expected that a polling company would seek to exploit the wealth of psychological data people freely share to swing a poll.
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22-03-2018, 19:31   #10
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Great thread idea. I haven't yet seen anything to convince me that CA's targeted news (or any other factor like Ze Russians) was decisive in the Trump or Brexit votes.

Old media sees the Internet as a potentially mortal competitor and jumps all over things like this to reestablish their credibility.

Warnings about fake news from the folks that brought you WMDs in Iraq and the Zinoviev letter? (to name just two examples)
I'll take that with a pinch of salt thanks.
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22-03-2018, 19:35   #11
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Yes, in 2018 social media is a hugely beneficial communicational tool, how can you not expect political parties to use it? To say the internet / social media it's just cat memes is a bit stupid.
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22-03-2018, 19:39   #12
andekwarhola
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It's a bit amusing to see people reacting with shock that Facebook provides a large expensive platform for free in exchange for carte blanche access to the personal data that you willingly provide.
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22-03-2018, 19:42   #13
electro~bitch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hatrickpatrick View Post
If by protecting them you mean educating people about the very basic fact that the internet is anonymous and a lot of what gets written on it is bullsh!t, then fine by me. But I am absolutely loathe to see the internet become another one of those cases of "restrict everyone's freedom in order to protect a small minority of muppets", like so many other things. I don't see why the rest of us shouldn't still get to have our online craic just because there are some people out there who just shouldn't be using it at all.
It's not just to protect a small minority of muppets. Manipulate enough muppets and everyone is effected, even people who are savvy enough to check sources etc.
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22-03-2018, 19:43   #14
Mr.S
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It's a bit amusing to see people reacting with shock that Facebook provides a large expensive platform for free in exchange for carte blanche access to the personal data that you willingly provide.
The same kind of people say that Facebook is listening to them via devices to tailor ads, but in reality it's just down to amount of profiling they / advertisers can do with the vast amount of data!
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22-03-2018, 19:47   #15
Doltanian
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I wish people would just accept that Hillary Clinton was an inferior candidate and that Trump won. He is holding to his promises and him getting elected in 2020 seems to be a foregone conclusion already as he is delivering his pledges.
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