Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Perils of Social Media

It finally is sinking in: various forms social media are available not to altruism or for just the heck of it; but because it can be used as a means of harvesting personal data for various commercial or propagandistic purposes. I guess it was dense of many of us (including me) to realize that there is no free lunch. 

I had no idea that potentially malevolent forces like the Russkies might possibly be involved (not that I give our own government a blank check, either). Or those well-known altruistic entities, corporations or businesses. Anyway, I don't want to provide them with free data; or make it too easy for them to obtain it. 

Or to influence me. If I want to be influenced, then I will read a newspaper. Even the act of reading a piece-of-shit newspaper should be accompanied with the knowledge that they might be trying to influence you, so calibrate your suspend your suspension of belief accordingly. Some, like the WaPo, are about as subtle as a knock on the head.

Actually, it might also be fun to introduce some red herrings into their data harvesting. Why not suggest that statehood for some state be rescinded? Or that I have six children out of holy deadlock? Maybe that I wrote in a lawn gnome's name for public office? [We have a Cabinet Member who looks like a Keebler's elf already, so that doesn't strain credibility.] Or, hey: maybe i can claim that I have a secret crush on Mark Zuckerberg!] Holy Toledo!

Anyway, if people would do this sort of thing on a large scale, then that would introduce some "noise" into their social data harvesting. 

 Yes -- play with their minds! And if some foreign entity is behind the data collection, then providing misinformation should constitute a patriotic act! Who knows: I might be tempted to open a Facebook account just to engage in creative fiction to fuddle the Pals of Putin to some degree.

Hmmmm....can lying on social media be a new, evolving art form?

Call this the Pinocchio Effect! 


  1. I like it!
    I'm sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.
    Let's all mess with them!

  2. Feeding our own bullshit back to them might just be the ticket. Confuse them with an alternative reality and see what happens. It'll be entertaining if nothing else.

  3. That has crossed my mind too. The trick would be how to let your friends know it was false data. How about (Z) for Zuckerberg?

  4. Elvis, what do you consider a piece-of-shit newspaper?

  5. Try the Star-Tribune for a good paper.