FACEBOOK Suicide QueenpinJanuary 29th, 2012 by Artemis
When I first heard of Facebook´s crystal clear intention of introducing Facial Recognition to their growing list of ´cool new features´, I was shocked for a minute (or two). I asked myself: How did we let it get this far?
Instead of deleting my Facebook account on the spot I chose to keep it alive because honestly, if it wasn’t for FB, I’d have no connection whatsoever to old friends and to people I love dearly.
Our right to privacy has been under attack for a number of years, albeit quietly, in the background by a sinister bunch we commonly refer to as ‘they’. I can’t go any further without mentioning that disastrous day in September… so here it is. It was on this very day that “they” seized a golden opportunity and pushed the overly broad surveillance bill known as the Patriot Act into law under the guise of public safety. It was one of many such bills that are designed to strip us of our privacy and civil liberties, piece by piece.
Make no mistake about it, they started tinkering with our digital rights as early as 1995. By 1998, they had already drafted and enacted Bills like the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which made it illegal to share music and other copyrighted content. Criminal penalties for first-time offenders can be as high as five years in prison and $250,000 in fines, even if you didn’t copy and distribute for financial or commercial gain. A bit steep, if you ask me.
Some argue that such strict laws are perfectly legit because, after all, the music and film industries are losing billions to pirates and while there may be some truth to this, putting people in PRISON with hardened criminals for downloading music hardly seems reasonable, not even rational.
12 years on, the Electronic Frontier Foundation released a document concerning the DMCA’s unintended consequences, noting that provisions in the bill “have been used to stifle a wide array of legitimate activities, rather than to stop copyright infringement.” AS IF the authors of the DMCA didn’t know this would happen from the start. Pffff!
More recently, bills like Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) were stopped in their tracks by a brave few that are wide awake to this new reality, yet the FBI still managed to track down and arrest the owner of Mega Download, Kim Dotcom, in another continent without SOPA or PIPA (and he’s not even an American Citizen).
In the latter part of 2011, Facebook made sweeping changes to their privacy tools following complaints filed by EPIC and other consumer and privacy organizations in 2009 and 2010. According to the complaint, Facebook “deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public.” Facebook settled with the FTC, but failed to roll-back the privacy settings to pre-2009. Although Facebook said that the changes give users more control over their personal information, they really don’t. They simply give that illusion, and the fact remains: Facebook owns your profile, FOREVER.
Warren Jones, Technology guru for MyTekLife magazine, said it best:
“To me, Facebook is an experiment gone wrong. An idea born in a Harvard dorm room, designed to introduce us to the people around us has become an invasion of personal privacy on the deepest level. Like someone breaking into your home and rifling through your stuff, your CDs, photo albums, address book, day planner and even recording your thoughts and conversations. But here’s the kicker; we let them in, we left the door wide open with a big neon ‘open’ sign above it.” He adds: “Even if you’re profile is private, by default, Facebook still allows third-party apps and websites to access your information through your friends.”
I hate Facebook, I don’t want to be a part of it any more, yet, I recognize that this social network is not entirely to blame because after all, we CHOOSE to share our personal information. Facebook simply exploits our natural desire to ‘connect’ with the people we care about most. Facebook cleverly gives us convenient tools, assuring us of a more exciting user experience that will make our lives easier somehow. Many of us welcome these changes without ever giving a second thought to their implications. We have learned to love our servitude. We are driven by curiosity, we explore the ‘cool’ factor, we embrace the phony convenience and enthusiastically participate in connecting ourselves to friends and their friends friends and before too long, people we barely know are tagging our name on old pictures which we didn’t even know existed! Sure, I now have this ‘cool’ feature that allows me to block tags (OOH AWESOME, CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THAT), but guess the fuck what? Nobody has to bother tagging me any more since fucking dick- wad Zuckerberg implemented Facial Recognition. Somewhere in some database, I’m still tagged, like it or not and that really pisses me off. It’s worse than LYING to me. FB is straight up insulting my intelligence. They’re DECEIVING people into believing that they’re choices for privacy are being respected when in fact, they’re being completely ignored or ‘by-passed’.
I’ve decided to commit Facebook Suicide and this is only the beginning. I know it will be hard for friends to find me, but that’s ok. I don’t have a whole lot of real friends anyway. I’m not doing it because I have something to hide or because I’m paranoid, I’m doing it out of pure protest. Because it seems everywhere I look these days, I am discovering more information on how governments are coming together to trample on our basic rights and it’s really pissing me off. I mean, seriously, WTF is going on here? Why is the American Government so keen on spying on its citizens? Government agencies are making no secret of using social networks to monitor the activities of common citizens, not just criminals, but people that have strong opinions or want our voices heard. THEY don’t like that we want to be heard. THEY want us to sit down and SHUT UP. Well, I’m not going to do that.
Some social networks have fallen prey to Congressional bullying and are being forced to disclose information on their users, people like me that support FREE SPEECH, WikiLeaks and are PRO OCCUPY. A lot of people give the lame excuse about not caring because they have nothing to hide but it’s not about hiding. It’s about you or someone you care about becoming the victim of a false positive someday. It is about the danger of losing our rights to privacy altogether, if not now, in 10 years or even less. It’s about not sitting down and shutting up when these so-called LAWMAKERS are successfully eroding our basic right to vote or passing draconian laws like the National Defense Authorization Act.
No, fuck you, I’m not going to shut up. I’m going to do something about it, even if that means you can’t find me on a fricken, stupid ass social network that will eventually give in to the CIA, NSA or any other government agency that is hell bent on turning us all into a complacent heard of sheeple. You can get behind me or go about your life, but remember the famous words of Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I was Protestant.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.