Just how evil is Facebook?

There are lots of reasons to not use social media, like Twitter and Facebook. The best reason is because it makes us unhappy.
Then tech companies learned how to game it.

A handful of tech startups are using social data to determine the risk of lending to people who have a difficult time accessing credit. Traditional lenders rely heavily on credit scores like FICO, which look at payments history. They typically steer clear of the millions of people who don't have credit scores.
But some financial lending companies have found that social connections can be a good indicator of a person's creditworthiness.
One such company, Lenddo, determines if you're friends on Facebook (FB) with someone who was late paying back a loan to Lenddo. If so, that's bad news for you. It's even worse news if the delinquent friend is someone you frequently interact with.
A German company called Kreditech says that it uses up to 8,000 data points when assessing an application for a loan.
In addition to data from Facebook, eBay or Amazon (AMZN) accounts.

Now you might think that this is a bit scary. Facebook, OTOH, looked at it as an opportunity.

Renowned personal-data-gatherer Facebook now has a new way of gathering more personal data of you and your friends. On Tuesday, the company secured a patent that would allow creditors to assess your creditworthiness based on the credit ratings of the people in your social network.
..The Federal Trade Commission prohibits creditors from discriminating against borrowers’ age, sex, race, color, religion, nationality, marital status, and other personal information.

What the FTC doesn't prohibit discrimination against is class.
That was three years ago. Quartz was quick to say, "Before anyone cries foul, it’s quite likely that Facebook never actually makes use of this patent."
Well isn't that precious.
Last week Facebook announced a new feature.

Facebook's patent plan for "Socioeconomic Group Classification Based on User Features" uses different data sources and qualifiers to determine whether a user is "working class," "middle class," or "upper class." It uses things like a user's home ownership status, education, number of gadgets owned, and how much they use the internet, among other factors. If you have one gadget and don't use the internet much, in Facebook's eyes you're probably a poor person.
Facebook's application says the algorithm is intended for use by "third parties to increase awareness about products or services to online system users." Examples given include corporations and charities.
Leave it to Facebook to race ahead of Black Mirror. In light of Facebook's recent announcement to focus on more "concrete local issues" it's not too hard to imagine how this could be used to keep working class renters out of a particular neighborhood, to facilitate predatory lending, or make sure that lower classes don't see your dating service ads.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: classism is the last socially acceptable prejudice in America.

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k9disc's picture

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11 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

thanatokephaloides's picture

With these latest moves, @k9disc , Facebook blasts past Google to First Place in the Great Evil Derby.

Ever since I witnessed Facebook destroy a dear circle of friends, I knew I wanted nothing to do with it. And, as a Poor myself, I live without borrowed money. It's only possible at all that way.

Gak. Bad

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16 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Wink's picture

it's how you use it.
@thanatokephaloides
Avoid most of the bull$h!t and the 3rd grade nonsense and FB isn't any worse than any place else. It essentially is a carnival with all the trappings. And like any carnival passing thru town after a two-day stay, they're there to fleece the unawares, the unwoke, the mildly catatonic. It's when those tread into the "you can't say that to my wife!" "I can say anything I want to the bitch!" muddier realm of FB where many lose their way. And in some cases their marriage. But that's not on FB to be the beat cop, the referee. Just know going in that trouble might find you, and quicker than you might think. Use it for what it's intended for and it works just fine.

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4 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

Pricknick's picture

And all those who use these platforms thought it was free.
So happy to have never been involved with anything more than email and browsing. Even doing that gives up way too much personal information.

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19 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Pricknick

Billions served.

And all those who use these platforms thought it was free.

There are still non-monetized Internet platforms out there (you're soaking in one now). Here on c99, for example, we strive to pay our own way via the donations of those who can do so, and the result is one of the best non-monetized platforms the Internet ever had. Others exist, too, but courtesy of the evil ways of the Facebooks out there, they're becoming harder to find.

(Dear Reader, if you can, please toss JtC some coins to keep this non-monetized platform on the air for the benefit of all humanity! This parenthetical has been a Public Service Announcement!) Smile

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17 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

SnappleBC's picture

@Pricknick

So happy to have never been involved with anything more than email and browsing.

If you browse then you are sending reams of data to google and facebook and a host of other corporations whether or not you know it. You can, to some extent, opt out of this by using incognito windows and extensions. I use google chrome and the extensions Ad Block Pro & Disconnect. That is hardly perfect since without going to much greater lengths (tor network, VPN) you are still broadcasting everything you read on the web and everything sent or received in email to our corporate overlords.

For email security I... well... I don't use email or any other standard digital communication strategy for topics I don't want the world to know. But if you use gmail or any other corporate email server then you've given all your information to that corporation.

The bottom line here is that if you participate at all in the information age then you are wrapped in endless layers of "them" observing and subtly controlling you. You just need to understand that's what is happening and work with it rather than against it. For instance, every single one of us here is solidly branded as a potential terrorist simply by visiting this site. And yes, corporate America and the NSA both know exactly who frequents C99.

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12 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Pricknick's picture

@SnappleBC
That's why I posted:

Even doing that gives up way too much personal information.

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6 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Alphalop's picture

Gross and shameless.

I've gotten to the point where I use FB as an additional way to keep in contact with friends and family that I don't get to interact with in RL as much as I would like but I'm seriously thinking about finding an app to basically download my history and then delete my account entirely.

Class warfare is real, and we are really losing the war...

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21 users have voted.

"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

The Aspie Corner's picture

@Alphalop Seriously. If you have disabilities that make driving difficult to impossible (among other things) you might as well kiss your chances for employment goodbye. I may still work with Voc Rehab but I have absolutely no illusions about ever finding long-term gainful employment because the only thing Flawer'Duh gives a fuck about is old rich retirees.

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10 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

SnappleBC's picture

@Alphalop

If you want to opt out of Facebook what you need to do is white wash yourself. Basically, make up some totally innocuous fake persona in your head and then set about role playing that. Get rid of your real friends, real interests, real likes, etc. and replace them with your new fake friends, likes, etc. Don't worry about anything in the past. That is forever so just start building now. Continue for a year or two.

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7 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

@SnappleBC surely soon one could have a service of bots (e.g. from Russia, or maybe Thailand) perform this "whitewashing" service for a fee?
Monetize fucking all the things! Jeezus what a world.

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Alphalop

I've told the two people in my family I'm in touch with that I don't look at it anymore and if they have something to say to me either call me or send me an email. Besides they only talk about tRump and the Russian shit. I also refuse to watch their dumb videos. My uncle spends his days trolling people who believe differently than he does and I think that's childish.

I only signed up to see if I could sell my photos and when I didn't keep my site updated, GagFace took my page down.

The other thing I hate is how many websites have moved their comments to FB. Counterpunch and truthout have excellent articles and I like reading people's opinions on them, but not after they moved to FB. I don't understand why they did that.

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11 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

thanatokephaloides's picture

@snoopydawg

The other thing I hate is how many websites have moved their comments to FB. Counterpunch and truthout have excellent articles and I like reading people's opinions on them, but not after they moved to FB. I don't understand why they did that.

Preach it!

The minute any website demands Facebook membership for participation, they deal with Sean no más. Nothing on the 'Net I need that badly!

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8 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

...they're just slightly more "creative" about it. Back in 2006, when I had one of the marketing vendors of a "top-five" US bank as a mortgage lead-generation IT client, they'd put app's from one set of leads in the "immediate response" queue, and another set of app's in the "extended response" queue. The decisioning factor as to which queue to place the respective lead(s) was based upon the potential mortgage applicant's zip code. The leads in the "immediate response" queue received heavy marketing response, starting with virtually immediate phone follow-up. The leads in the "extended response" queue received a letter, a week or two after they first made contact. (Basically, they were blown off.) It's all "perfectly legal," so I was told. Needless to say, I immediatley cancelled our contract with the client. During the cancellation "conversation," I was told that this wasn't their doing, and that their client (the top-5 US bank) had given them (our client) strict instructions regarding lead generation follow-up procedures; and, they were "just following the client's instructions."

Meanwhile, as you read this, many lenders continue to discriminate throughout their business processes. One of the more common means of run-of-the-mill discrimination is via AGE.

By the way gjohnsit, I've got to say, you've been absolutely on fire, as of late! Outstanding work! Kudos to you! (I don't know where you find the time. But, in any event, my sincere thanks for your ongoing efforts.)

Looking forward to being more active here "in the fray," in coming months. Meanwhile, write on!

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29 users have voted.

"Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe." --Thomas Jefferson

divineorder's picture

@bobswern " damn, there's bobswern! Haven't seen that name since back in the day at GOS ",

Smile

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16 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder

He's been on a bit of late, that I've seen, (but I miss whole threads - can't keep up with the flow here, so likely more than I've seen) lol just not enough! Sure is nice to see Old Home Week seemingly kinda reforming here and there - in a far, far better place!

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

orlbucfan's picture

@bobswern Good to see you. You crank up writing wise, fans like me will be there. Rec'd!!

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4 users have voted.

Some yahoos make me want to change species!

@bobswern

I'll look forward to that! Don't hear nearly enough from you here.

... Looking forward to being more active here "in the fray," in coming months. ...

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Chris Hughes (Facebook co-founder), this week on CNBC: "...The digital economy is 'going to continue to destroy' jobs in America..." (video link, below)

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/20/facebook-co-founder-chris-hughes-wants-5...

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16 users have voted.

"Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe." --Thomas Jefferson

divineorder's picture

@bobswern

However, Hughes left Silicon Valley shortly after to help organize online efforts for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. He was also formerly the publisher of The New Republic, a liberal media outlet whose journalism aims to debate and take a stand on the issues of the day.

"The same forces that made Facebook's rise possible have created financial instability in the lives of working Americans," Hughes argued in an op-ed in The Guardian, saying his story illustrates how unfair the economy can be. "I'm proud of the work that I did [for Facebook], but the fact that I could make nearly a half billion dollars for three years worth of work — while at the same time half of Americans can't find $400 in case of an emergency — is a testament to what is wrong with our economy."

Hughes' vision for how to solve for what he considers a damaged labor market is similar to the concept of universal basic income, or UBI, cash handouts to everyone regardless of employment status. "What you get with these changes is a modest basic income, which is not exactly the UBI ... that one day may be necessary," he told CNBC. "But what we know now is that people working hard aren't living stable financial lives and deserve to be."

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15 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

BrutallyHonest's picture

@divineorder Why do progressives fall for the lie of UBI?

The only answer that will truly help and free people from our current economic and governmental systems is to create a new system I call Democratic Cooperation. Every corporation and governmental agency needs to become worker cooperatives. With todays technology and knowledge we do not need a top down system of government or corporation ownership. When everyone in our country is involved in the process of running a company then we will have a more educated and cooperative society, all while creating a stronger bond and understanding between those who work. Unions are dead, worker cooperatives are our future.

Then after enough people become educated under this new system we can move to remove capital fully. Capital is a made up, unnecessary and truly evil thing in our lives.

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4 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@BrutallyHonest

The only answer

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6 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder
He's trying to tweek a system that needs a complete reworking. $500 a month will do nothing but cause infllation on the low end - a $2.99 loaf of bread will suddenly cost $4.99, your $1200 a month rent will suddenly go up to $1500.Sure, the cost of yachts won't go up, but who cares? Society will not change. Now, raise the personal deduction to $25,000 and make it refundable, but tax everything over that, that'll do something. Janitors will make $40k or they won't bother to work. People who cannot find work will play catch with their kids and give up burglery.

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8 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@divineorder

Except that it sounds more like a subsidy for employers, in that it's only available while people are employed and vanishes when they lose a job and can't find another. Which might explain why CEOs are said to like this idea, since it enables starvation wages for workers still able to function only because of this addition.

A universal guaranteed income at a level which actually covers the basics, including a few comforts, would actually do good for all in actual poverty, including the elderly, ill and disabled, and make far more sense in current circumstances where jobs are vanishing and will continue to vanish - and not perhaps enable the more powerful employers to use bribery political pull to drop the minimum wage further, perhaps by as much as $500 a month. And later demand that public money not be wasted on public programs, which seems to be far more typical.

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

dkmich's picture

As most know, I post c99s front page to c99's FB page. Both it and my personal page have been throttled way back by FB just so they can barrage me with their own spam to pay them to "boost" or increase my outreach. I see the same people over and over and over - most of them I love dearly, but.... Then add in the right wing assholes from high school, the snowflake Hillbamabots, the "friends" who prefer pictures of food and their kids to reality (politics), and the whole place is just one big pain in the ass.

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18 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

jorogo's picture

Very good piece on Facebook, which I will be sharing, via email. Thanks for that. back to prejudices.....

......well, unless you'd consider singlism, which is partner-relationship status discrimination, a subset of classism, there is at least one more. I've experienced it personally, during my brief membership in Wisconsin's Democratic Party. Unknown to me when I paid up the $25 membership fee, paired family members joining get discounted to $17.50 each. I paid a singles' surcharge. Deceased singles' Social Security benefits return to the pool, as they are not allowed the same heir rights as married persons, among many more discriminations, some encoded into law, others into social norms.

Not a good idea for a political Party to dis the single fastest growing demographic in the US. BWT, Republicans here charge $20 per person....period.

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14 users have voted.

"If I sit silently, I have sinned." - Mossadegh

CB's picture

onto a chip they will stick in your ass at birth.

Just think of all the benefits! You won't get lost, forget to take your medication or have to carry a wallet for cash/identification. You won't even have to carry a bulky iPhone to whisper sweet nothings to your lover or give your boss the reason you are not coming in to work. Add a few more chips in your nether regions and we can even have teletouch. Brave new World indeed.

Luckily, I'm getting closer to that age when we all eventually kiss our ass goodbye so I may miss the experience.

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@CB

slip a chip into us without our knowledge. Not to sound paranoid, but think about this...
Anyone who isn't towing the USA line gets rehabilitated. Didn't Orwell right on this?

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7 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

CB's picture

@snoopydawg
But he failed to realize the rapid advance of technology which would make the regulation of the proles much more efficient.

An implanted chip would allow Minitrue to give a little zap to the gonads to keep one on the correct path of right-think. No more surreptitious trysts in back bedrooms above an antiques shop.

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4 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@snoopydawg not the fearful chip in the nether regions. It's nano tech. Way smaller, digestible, networkable and keen to effect the central nervous system. The next generation of social control is beneath the level of conscious awareness. I can't believe I just said that.

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1 user has voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

@QMS

Wouldn't that explain the astounding level of brainwashing apparent in Hillarybots and Russiagaters?

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

QMS's picture

@Ellen North that could be one. Keep hearing pundits ask the lead-in question "Why do people vote for those against their better interests"? It's being woven into our social fabric. So subtle, few seem to notice the changes. The hot flash issues keep people distracted while the marionettes pull the strings tighter.

The science has been about for many years. Light and sound patterns broadcast in ever larger flat screens, vibrations used in ever smaller personal communication devises. Imagine coupling that with electronically sensitive receptors in the blood stream or the cerebral cortex. A power could use that network to control thoughts and reactions beneath conscious awareness. The twatters and face hooks are only the tip of the unseen beneath the surface.

Mind your wants because someone wants your mind.

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1 user has voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Well, I ain't rich but I ain't poor either, so they'll get my profile completely wrong by that little metric. I am a Luddite in their eyes and that's just fine with me. Never have been on FB and never will.

Just another disgusting way to divide and conquer as well. Now any asshat who doesn't get credit can blame friends who have a shitty credit rating?

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7 users have voted.
CB's picture

@lizzyh7
on Fleecebook. Don't expect him to just stop with credit history. The same will be done for rental references. You don't want any riff-raff moving into your neighborhood do you? If you can be tribalized in any way possible, they will do it.

We just need a system where you can be monitored for compliance. Aha! Amazon has just the item, Echo, which gives you your own personal assistant - Alexa. I understand she can even tell you to take a laxative if you fail to take your morning crap and possibly even figure out who you are in bed with by voice recognition technology so she can choose a suitable gift.

Strange new generation that is willing to expose every aspect of their personal lives to a handful of data mining corporations (including government). Will there be such a thing as privacy in the near future?

Personally, I don't Twit, FB or use a debit card. I guess I don't exist.

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8 users have voted.

@lizzyh7 @lizzyh7

Hey, there wasn't enough division yet!

Now over 60% (64%? About 2/3rds of the population and rapidly growing at any rate,) of to-be-'othered' America must be avoided by anyone with extra money (potentially for gratitude-producing-level political contributions) as being bad for their financial health, leaving the latter unaware of Those Poors lives and conditions and more likely to accept policy limiting and penalizing Those (Lazy/Wastrel) Poors as their living standards continue to lower. At least until those in the next 20% income level up fully land in The Shunned Poor Zone themselves, in turn becoming invisible to still comfortable friends, and find out the real story the hard way - too late.

Edited for wrong brackets - yeah, and in income, too, lol.

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

mimi's picture

"friends" all avoid him. That's what I want, I don't want him to use facebook. I think he keeps track of some other Veterans and some real life friends he once had. I do not use it, but I wonder if I use it inadvertently sometimes, when I click on a link that leads to a facebook article. I don't like it, if politicians write their stuff on facebook and then you have to read it there.

I guess most people can't boycott the services of facebook. To my astonishment I find Germans even more addicted than Americans. They are totally enslaved to it and love or even are proud of their enslavement. It's sold as technophil, socially active and compassionately separated from person to person conversations and actively and hotly engaged with their little mini screens on their phones.
In United States at least you have this little small talk and some friendly smiles going on. Here nothing. I am not used to it, so I talk to people in the bus and on the trains all the time. And voila, they all start talking back to me and seem to enjoy it. And I realized that the poorer the people are I meet in the bus or train, the more they like to talk. Smile So, facebook's smarty pants, avoid us poor, we don't need you and can have fun in real conversations outside of your frigging surveillance networks grabs.

And if I don't have someone to talk to I talk to myself. Why not? These are some good conversations with myself.

Boycott the crooked facehook. Do it.

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8 users have voted.

@mimi

You're right. Well, everywhere in the comment, lol, but FB does put tracking cookies on all visitors and you have to remove them to get rid of them.

On various topics, I only get older stuff on searches, so this is from 2015:

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/doesnt-matter-youre-not-facebook-theyre-st...

It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Not On Facebook: They’re Still Tracking You
Philip Bates May 21, 2015

A new report claims the social networking service is tracking people without their permission. It doesn’t matter if you don’t even use Facebook: they’re still watching you. Here’s what that means to you, and what you can do about it. ...

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.