Is Facebook a structural threat to free society? I make the argument.
I don’t want to hammer the data point too much, but it is important to show just how much data Facebook has. If it interests you, privacy advocates have written thousands of words on the subject.
Remember that Facebook feeds are not chronological. Facebook decides what posts you see, and who sees your posts.
I’d like you to seriously consider the idea that Facebook has a greater ability to understand the human psyche than every psychologist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and behavioral economist in human history combined.
Facebook’s user manipulation, detailed above, is both ethically questionable and terrible PR. What if you could get the same results without actually testing on users?
Facebook is openly and proudly building the capability to simulate the human psyche. When such capacity is sufficiently advanced, there will be no need to test on actual users. Those users can be used only to verify results from the simulation.
Facebook is the biggest personal data collector in history. It is openly working on simulating human beings for research. It has all the tools needed to manipulate people’s realities, emotions, thoughts, and political preferences. And it continues to build these capabilities, especially with virtual reality.
This alone is a risk center for our society. This centralization of private data, power, and influence is dangerous.
Facebook will be the most powerful tool for political power and manipulation in history. Someone, somehow, will take control of it. We are sleepwalking into allowing a gaping weakness to develop in our social and political structure.