Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The truth about Facebook

If you are like millions of others out there you probably have a Facebook or Myspace site. Isn't it great fun to keep tabs on your real life friends, meet new virtual buddies and share yourself with the world. However, are you aware of what personal information you are making available, not just to your trusted friends, but to the watchers? In the sign up conditions for these types of sites, you are usually giving away all rights to your data and making it available to the owners of the site to use your data and images in whatever way they so desire. Facebook recently failed in their quest to further extend their rights to retaining the rights to your data even after you delete it from your Facebook site.

So what is the truth about Facebook? If you think these guys just wanted to bring people together in a big 24 hour cyber party, well you are naive. In the following video, the history, origins and purpose of Facebook are exposed. 4 mins

Why am I not surprised to discover that the originators of Facebook come from The US Dept of Defence and CIA? That doesn't sound like your average boom type geek from Silicon Valley, does it?.

What a great way for the watchers to know what you like, what you buy, your relationship network, your work connections, your political opinions....everything! Are you a political activist? They already know who all your like-minded comrades are. That could be useful determining lists of "enemy combatants" in a martial law scenario. They even have images of your face to assist identification in a crowd. One youth recently was subjected to a warrantless home search by police because he posted an image of himself brandishing a toy gun on his site.

At no other point in history has a generation allowed themselves to be so vulnerable. Considering the times we are heading into, we have put our head in the noose, willingly and without question.

This doesn't even begin to address the fact that social networking sites have so many negatives and few positives.

  • Networking sites are a hugh distraction. If you're meant to be working at the computer and the Facebook window is open, it's like trying to work in a room whilst a party is going on in the next room. Everyone else is having fun, what's going on, got to join in. It is almost impossible to get a teenage girl to do homework if social networking sites haven't been disabled by a filter program.
  • The distraction extends to shrinking your world view down to 600 x 300 pixels. Your life is stuck to the screen. You don't look up or around. That's exactly where they want you. Distracted, controlled, blinkered and unquestioning.
  • Not only does it shrink your world view, it literally shrinks your brain. Look at this study of the neural damage it's doing to our kids's brains.
  • Social networking sites can become addictive, in similar manner to porn.
  • You fool yourself into thinking you've got all these virtual "friends". It plays on your low self esteem. Get out more! Get a life. Go to the pub. Go to church. Learn a musical instrument and join a society. Play a team sport and get some exercise as well.
  • Many employers look up your facebook site before interviewing you for a job. Do you really want them to see you dressed up in a Nazi brown shirt uniform at a fancy dress party?
  • All sorts of unsavory people can get your face, put it on someone else's body and put it on a porn site.
  • Many kids put enough info and image clues on their sites to enable a creep to work out what school you attend and can be waiting at the school gates this afternoon.

So what's good about Facebook? What's good about a baited hook to a fish?

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