Uber: Travel ban
January 2017, we witnessed #deleteuber social media campaign. The movement erupted after Trump’s ban on travel ban from Muslim-majority countries, when NYC taxi drivers went on strike. At the very same moment Uber announced “surged pricing on JFK airport” being turned off.
February 2017 benchmarks shown 200,000 accounts being deleted as an act of solidarity against US President decision.
Cambridge Analytica: Elections
March 2018, Christopher Wylie, whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica (has nothing to do with famous university), gives an interview to Guardian on how the company was collecting Facebook user profiles and presumably helped targeting elections campaign for Republican Party to win the elections.
The whole social media just went nuts on the subject. A chance of your social profile being harvested for micro-targeting to form your opinion on any sociopolitical matter, launched yet another delete campaign - #deletefacebook. Today, it’s been reported on 87m profiles may’ve been leaked to Cambridge Analytica, which is said to be a part of SCL Group.
Some details on who these folks are:
SCL’s involvement in the political world has been primarily in the developing world where it has been used by the military and politicians to study and manipulate public opinion and political will. It uses what have been called “psy ops” to provide insight into the thinking of the target audience. According to its website, SCL has influenced elections in Italy, Latvia, Ukraine, Albania, Romania, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, India, Indonesia, The Philippines…(c) Wikipedia
What’s quiet interesting about this whole story, that it’s emphasised the privacy leak at first place. Next week it twisted into yet-another-Trump fault, and all the hell broke loose in social networks.
Frankly speaking, this Trump for/against campaign is not my thing, I’m not a US citizen. I didn’t vote. Thus, I don’t care. American elections is solely the matter of US people.
Technically speaking, as a person who reads and does some IT things, it breaks down to the subject of privacy, and the medium that we use in day-to-day routines.
If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product
Whenever you use any social medium, you share your private information. Those crazy useless quizzes, asking for your locations, ads rotation, bounce rates. It was just the matter of time, when some company will appear on the horizon and start crunching your data for its own purposes. Marketing tools in combination with psychology and IT, might give you a proper railgun in social science and opinion forming.
It’s your decision to support or ignore #deletefacebook movement. Edward Snowden gave an interview on the matter, that has some insights on your data privacy and the state control. He might be right, that it’s us - our generation - that will impose the control of our personal data, or it’s too late.