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(Slate)   Since Facebook was designed to be addictive, does that make it evil?   ( slate.com) divider line
    More: Creepy, social media, Facebook, early Facebook investor, Sean Parker, social media companies, Silicon Valley, social validation feedback, ostensibly benevolent goals  
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741 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Nov 2017 at 9:50 AM (44 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



38 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-11-13 08:14:36 AM  
images-na.ssl-images-amazon.comView Full Size
 
2017-11-13 09:46:48 AM  
No, but some of the games on there can be evil. I'm looking at you Farmville.
 
2017-11-13 09:55:17 AM  
No because being addicted to something is a good thing now. Like bingeing.
 
2017-11-13 09:59:08 AM  
Yes.
 
2017-11-13 10:03:43 AM  
The concept itself isn't evil, but the way it's been used certainly doesn't seem like a good thing for society. In the sense that it subverts real human interaction and emotion for shares and likes, yes- it's evil. It used to be that you would go outside in the evening and chat with neighbors or friends, or you'd hit up a bar or bowling alley and socialize. Or, if you didn't want to, you could stay in.

It simultaneously forces online community on you when you didn't ask for it, and it corrupts the existing real-world communities where people used to go to have that interaction. Why get dressed up and go out when you can spend Friday night on Facebook in pajamas?

With respect to "forcing online community on  you"... I woke up about a month ago and had no less than seven overnight emails from Facebook about random things that happened on their site. That's absurd! I wondered just how aggressive they were, so I downloaded my email history from Google and grabbed out every email they had sent me since 2012. They're currently on track to send me 840 emails this year, an average of 2.3 emails per day. For reference, I haven't posted anything to Facebook in years, and I go on there and respond to other people's stuff roughly once per month. It's not an exaggeration to say that my activity to email ratio is around 1:100.

And yes, I know that I can set email preferences. The point is that they aggressively push online community when they have clearly made little or no effort to understand me or match me with the community I care about.
 
2017-11-13 10:18:04 AM  
Aldous Huxley used Soma as the way to keep the conditioned masses occupied. All TFA is illustrating is the best shepherding techniques available to keep the masses in line.
 
2017-11-13 10:19:15 AM  
It's a massive data mining program used to target and sell advertising, full of mom blogs and propaganda, so...

/yes, yes of course it is evil.
 
2017-11-13 10:26:47 AM  
Slate was designed to be non-addictive. Does that make it good?
 
2017-11-13 10:38:34 AM  
Oh, look, the rare headline where the answer to the question is, "yes".

Congratulations, "Exception which proves the rule."
 
2017-11-13 10:38:43 AM  
Maybe
 
2017-11-13 10:41:59 AM  
Facebook is based upon the same concept as a slot machine. I don't like it but is isn't evil, The longer you are in a casino the more chance the house comes out ahead.
 
2017-11-13 10:42:52 AM  

facepalm.jpg: The concept itself isn't evil, but the way it's been used certainly doesn't seem like a good thing for society. In the sense that it subverts real human interaction and emotion for shares and likes, yes- it's evil. It used to be that you would go outside in the evening and chat with neighbors or friends, or you'd hit up a bar or bowling alley and socialize. Or, if you didn't want to, you could stay in.

It simultaneously forces online community on you when you didn't ask for it, and it corrupts the existing real-world communities where people used to go to have that interaction. Why get dressed up and go out when you can spend Friday night on Facebook in pajamas?

With respect to "forcing online community on  you"... I woke up about a month ago and had no less than seven overnight emails from Facebook about random things that happened on their site. That's absurd! I wondered just how aggressive they were, so I downloaded my email history from Google and grabbed out every email they had sent me since 2012. They're currently on track to send me 840 emails this year, an average of 2.3 emails per day. For reference, I haven't posted anything to Facebook in years, and I go on there and respond to other people's stuff roughly once per month. It's not an exaggeration to say that my activity to email ratio is around 1:100.

And yes, I know that I can set email preferences. The point is that they aggressively push online community when they have clearly made little or no effort to understand me or match me with the community I care about.


I actually feel a lot more comfortable interacting with people online. I realize most people don't, and that this is an unpopular opinion, but being 100% honest, if it weren't for social media, I wouldn't keep up with nearly as many people as I do, regardless of desire on my part.

/social anxiety sucks
 
2017-11-13 10:47:11 AM  
It helped give us Drumpf, so sure I'll go with yes.
 
2017-11-13 10:49:44 AM  
Weaponized by Putin.

Enough said?
 
2017-11-13 10:54:32 AM  
Facebook is a capitalist venture. It was designed to make money.
All other considerations (such as good and evil) simply don't apply.

/they don't care if its evil.
//they only care if it makes dollars
/// or rubles, same thing.
 
2017-11-13 11:07:53 AM  
Breathing and eating are pretty addictive and I don't think those are evil.
 
2017-11-13 11:13:15 AM  
Facebook is not the evil.   Here where we pretty much universally use pseudonyms it's expected that snarky "welcome to Fark" comments will occur.   Facebook proved that even when real names are used, people still make outrageous unsubstantiated comments and claims.   Threats are made and bullies post with little fear of reprisal.   Everyone can be the next conspiracy theorist.   There was a line used in Pogo many years ago.  "We have met the enemy and he is us".
 
2017-11-13 11:17:44 AM  
yes, it's evil FFS. Your smartphone is evil too. Advertising is evil--it's the greatest mind control device ever invented. And we do NOTHING to monitor its effect on us, stop to think about what it does to our society as a whole, or put in any controls to stop companies from making ever-more invasive ways to get us to act in certain ways.

The advertisers work with the tech companies. The tech companies try to addict us to their devices for their own purposes, and then they put in a lot of special bells and whistles just for the advertisers, to get us to respond to the signals. I don't want to say Pavlov's dog, but--Pavlov's dog. That's why everybody simultaneously hates their smartyphones, yet is powerless to stop picking them up. YOU'VE BEEN PROGRAMMED.

Every one of our boxes that we interact with on a daily basis is trying to get each one of us to listen to the mind control devices. TV was one thing, but TV is still passive. We've reached the point now where we do the bidding of our devices, just as we've programmed to do over the years. It was a long-range plan, and goddamn, it's worked out spectacularly.

People in this country will now eat themselves to death, obeying the signals of some advertising that tells them that it's OK, you can eat anything you want, but try THIS if you want to lose weight. No, try THIS, wait, here's another diet for you to try, and hey, buy this too, and it's not your fault, your body is changing and you can't help it. We have a fat acceptance T-shirt we can sell you, and if you want, we can help you with your Facebook campaign to make people accept fat people. There are a lot of products for that now. Just remember that it's not your fault, and there probably are many fine products out there that will make you into a better, slimmer person. We just need to sell them to you. We're not sure how you got fat in the first place, but we can help you. Just stop thinking and listen to your device.

Whatever you do, don't think for yourself. We have devices for that now.
 
2017-11-13 11:27:21 AM  

cryinoutloud: yes, it's evil FFS. Your smartphone is evil too. Advertising is evil--it's the greatest mind control device ever invented. And we do NOTHING to monitor its effect on us, stop to think about what it does to our society as a whole, or put in any controls to stop companies from making ever-more invasive ways to get us to act in certain ways.

The advertisers work with the tech companies. The tech companies try to addict us to their devices for their own purposes, and then they put in a lot of special bells and whistles just for the advertisers, to get us to respond to the signals. I don't want to say Pavlov's dog, but--Pavlov's dog. That's why everybody simultaneously hates their smartyphones, yet is powerless to stop picking them up. YOU'VE BEEN PROGRAMMED.

Every one of our boxes that we interact with on a daily basis is trying to get each one of us to listen to the mind control devices. TV was one thing, but TV is still passive. We've reached the point now where we do the bidding of our devices, just as we've programmed to do over the years. It was a long-range plan, and goddamn, it's worked out spectacularly.

People in this country will now eat themselves to death, obeying the signals of some advertising that tells them that it's OK, you can eat anything you want, but try THIS if you want to lose weight. No, try THIS, wait, here's another diet for you to try, and hey, buy this too, and it's not your fault, your body is changing and you can't help it. We have a fat acceptance T-shirt we can sell you, and if you want, we can help you with your Facebook campaign to make people accept fat people. There are a lot of products for that now. Just remember that it's not your fault, and there probably are many fine products out there that will make you into a better, slimmer person. We just need to sell them to you. We're not sure how you got fat in the first place, but we can help you. Just stop thinking and listen to your device.

Whatever you do, d ...


You're grossly underestimating your own ability to regulate this problem.
 
2017-11-13 11:39:36 AM  

cryinoutloud: yes, it's evil FFS. Your smartphone is evil too. Advertising is evil--it's the greatest mind control device ever invented. And we do NOTHING to monitor its effect on us, stop to think about what it does to our society as a whole, or put in any controls to stop companies from making ever-more invasive ways to get us to act in certain ways.

The advertisers work with the tech companies. The tech companies try to addict us to their devices for their own purposes, and then they put in a lot of special bells and whistles just for the advertisers, to get us to respond to the signals. I don't want to say Pavlov's dog, but--Pavlov's dog. That's why everybody simultaneously hates their smartyphones, yet is powerless to stop picking them up. YOU'VE BEEN PROGRAMMED.

Every one of our boxes that we interact with on a daily basis is trying to get each one of us to listen to the mind control devices. TV was one thing, but TV is still passive. We've reached the point now where we do the bidding of our devices, just as we've programmed to do over the years. It was a long-range plan, and goddamn, it's worked out spectacularly.

People in this country will now eat themselves to death, obeying the signals of some advertising that tells them that it's OK, you can eat anything you want, but try THIS if you want to lose weight. No, try THIS, wait, here's another diet for you to try, and hey, buy this too, and it's not your fault, your body is changing and you can't help it. We have a fat acceptance T-shirt we can sell you, and if you want, we can help you with your Facebook campaign to make people accept fat people. There are a lot of products for that now. Just remember that it's not your fault, and there probably are many fine products out there that will make you into a better, slimmer person. We just need to sell them to you. We're not sure how you got fat in the first place, but we can help you. Just stop thinking and listen to your device.

Whatever you do, d ...


Agree
 
2017-11-13 11:51:41 AM  
Facebook never hooked me because I instantly recognized it as intrinsically valueless.  I get no dopamine or other "rush" from getting "likes" or "shares"

Which isn't to say that I'm immune to that sort of thing - I do have a tendency to check back on comments I've posted to Fark to see if anyone has Smarted or Funnied me.  I just never developed that habit on Facebook.  I don't know if it's that I don't have to check back with FB- it gives me notifications, and would send me email if I let it, any time someone "likes" something I posted- whereas with Fark I actively have to go back and check.  Or it might be to do with the fact that I'm by nature a fairly solitary person, with maybe 2 dozen FB friends, mostly former coworkers, whose opinions I generally don't care about, and those are the only people who can see the things I post (my privacy settings are set to no public sharing) whereas any Farker can read my posts, and the average Farker tends to be thoughtful and intelligent, so a "Smart" means more to me than a "Like"
 
2017-11-13 11:51:54 AM  

adj_m: It's a massive data mining program used to target and sell advertising, full of mom blogs and propaganda, so...

/yes, yes of course it is evil.


But is it as evil as YouTube Kids? If you want pure toy advertising and consumerism injected directly into your children's eyeballs, let them watch YT Kids for several hours.

/looking at you, rich kids who only play with Barbie dolls with expensive set-ups
//or the ones who open up gacha egg after gacha egg after gacha egg
 
2017-11-13 12:02:31 PM  

jars.traptone: cryinoutloud: yes, it's evil FFS. Your smartphone is evil too. Advertising is evil--it's the greatest mind control device ever invented. And we do NOTHING to monitor its effect on us, stop to think about what it does to our society as a whole, or put in any controls to stop companies from making ever-more invasive ways to get us to act in certain ways.

The advertisers work with the tech companies. The tech companies try to addict us to their devices for their own purposes, and then they put in a lot of special bells and whistles just for the advertisers, to get us to respond to the signals. I don't want to say Pavlov's dog, but--Pavlov's dog. That's why everybody simultaneously hates their smartyphones, yet is powerless to stop picking them up. YOU'VE BEEN PROGRAMMED.

Every one of our boxes that we interact with on a daily basis is trying to get each one of us to listen to the mind control devices. TV was one thing, but TV is still passive. We've reached the point now where we do the bidding of our devices, just as we've programmed to do over the years. It was a long-range plan, and goddamn, it's worked out spectacularly.

People in this country will now eat themselves to death, obeying the signals of some advertising that tells them that it's OK, you can eat anything you want, but try THIS if you want to lose weight. No, try THIS, wait, here's another diet for you to try, and hey, buy this too, and it's not your fault, your body is changing and you can't help it. We have a fat acceptance T-shirt we can sell you, and if you want, we can help you with your Facebook campaign to make people accept fat people. There are a lot of products for that now. Just remember that it's not your fault, and there probably are many fine products out there that will make you into a better, slimmer person. We just need to sell them to you. We're not sure how you got fat in the first place, but we can help you. Just stop thinking and listen to your device.

Whatever you do, d ...

You ...


Now now, it's NEVER the fault of the user. Always the tech's fault. It's all evil.
 
2017-11-13 12:04:12 PM  
PlaidJaguar

Facebook never hooked me because I instantly recognized it as intrinsically valueless. I get no dopamine or other "rush" from getting "likes" or "shares"

Which isn't to say that I'm immune to that sort of thing - I do have a tendency to check back on comments I've posted to Fark to see if anyone has Smarted or Funnied me. I just never developed that habit on Facebook. I don't know if it's that I don't have to check back with FB- it gives me notifications, and would send me email if I let it, any time someone "likes" something I posted- whereas with Fark I actively have to go back and check. Or it might be to do with the fact that I'm by nature a fairly solitary person, with maybe 2 dozen FB friends, mostly former coworkers, whose opinions I generally don't care about, and those are the only people who can see the things I post (my privacy settings are set to no public sharing) whereas any Farker can read my posts, and the average Farker tends to be thoughtful and intelligent, so a "Smart" means more to me than a "Like"


Which Fark are you on?
But anyway it is the same thing it is just how you identify Fark as a a place where you get social gratification/acceptance from a group of people you perceive as higher value to your life.
 
2017-11-13 12:20:40 PM  

Strategeryz0r: Now now, it's NEVER the fault of the user. Always the tech's fault. It's all evil.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-13 12:34:09 PM  

jars.traptone: facepalm.jpg: The concept itself isn't evil, but the way it's been used certainly doesn't seem like a good thing for society. In the sense that it subverts real human interaction and emotion for shares and likes, yes- it's evil. It used to be that you would go outside in the evening and chat with neighbors or friends, or you'd hit up a bar or bowling alley and socialize. Or, if you didn't want to, you could stay in.

It simultaneously forces online community on you when you didn't ask for it, and it corrupts the existing real-world communities where people used to go to have that interaction. Why get dressed up and go out when you can spend Friday night on Facebook in pajamas?

With respect to "forcing online community on  you"... I woke up about a month ago and had no less than seven overnight emails from Facebook about random things that happened on their site. That's absurd! I wondered just how aggressive they were, so I downloaded my email history from Google and grabbed out every email they had sent me since 2012. They're currently on track to send me 840 emails this year, an average of 2.3 emails per day. For reference, I haven't posted anything to Facebook in years, and I go on there and respond to other people's stuff roughly once per month. It's not an exaggeration to say that my activity to email ratio is around 1:100.

And yes, I know that I can set email preferences. The point is that they aggressively push online community when they have clearly made little or no effort to understand me or match me with the community I care about.

I actually feel a lot more comfortable interacting with people online. I realize most people don't, and that this is an unpopular opinion, but being 100% honest, if it weren't for social media, I wouldn't keep up with nearly as many people as I do, regardless of desire on my part.

/social anxiety sucks


Sadly, that's not how facebook works. You aren't keeping up with friends, you are seeing curated snippets of their lives to make them seem more interesting than they really are.
 
2017-11-13 12:42:29 PM  
What an evil face book may look like:

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-13 12:51:25 PM  
mrsleep: jars.traptone: if it weren't for social media, I wouldn't keep up with nearly as many people as I do, regardless of desire on my part.

Sadly, that's not how facebook works. You aren't keeping up with friends, you are seeing curated snippets of their lives to make them seem more interesting than they really are.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-13 02:38:09 PM  

facepalm.jpg: The concept itself isn't evil, but the way it's been used certainly doesn't seem like a good thing for society. In the sense that it subverts real human interaction and emotion for shares and likes, yes- it's evil. It used to be that you would go outside in the evening and chat with neighbors or friends, or you'd hit up a bar or bowling alley and socialize.


Oh... please ... i had a college professor decrying that exact same thing....except it was 1997, and he was talking about email and the internet, in general.        Facebook didn't invent the loss of community... it simply filled the void by the community which was already long ago lost.
 
2017-11-13 02:45:27 PM  
"Evil" is the wrong word.

"Destructive" works better.
 
2017-11-13 03:25:32 PM  
Maximizing profits cannot result in good where the business model is addiction. Too much of anything is damaging.
 
2017-11-13 03:46:44 PM  

mrsleep: jars.traptone: facepalm.jpg: The concept itself isn't evil, but the way it's been used certainly doesn't seem like a good thing for society. In the sense that it subverts real human interaction and emotion for shares and likes, yes- it's evil. It used to be that you would go outside in the evening and chat with neighbors or friends, or you'd hit up a bar or bowling alley and socialize. Or, if you didn't want to, you could stay in.

It simultaneously forces online community on you when you didn't ask for it, and it corrupts the existing real-world communities where people used to go to have that interaction. Why get dressed up and go out when you can spend Friday night on Facebook in pajamas?

With respect to "forcing online community on  you"... I woke up about a month ago and had no less than seven overnight emails from Facebook about random things that happened on their site. That's absurd! I wondered just how aggressive they were, so I downloaded my email history from Google and grabbed out every email they had sent me since 2012. They're currently on track to send me 840 emails this year, an average of 2.3 emails per day. For reference, I haven't posted anything to Facebook in years, and I go on there and respond to other people's stuff roughly once per month. It's not an exaggeration to say that my activity to email ratio is around 1:100.

And yes, I know that I can set email preferences. The point is that they aggressively push online community when they have clearly made little or no effort to understand me or match me with the community I care about.

I actually feel a lot more comfortable interacting with people online. I realize most people don't, and that this is an unpopular opinion, but being 100% honest, if it weren't for social media, I wouldn't keep up with nearly as many people as I do, regardless of desire on my part.

/social anxiety sucks

Sadly, that's not how facebook works. You aren't keeping up with friends, you are seeing curated snippets of ...


Because instant messaging isn't a thing?
 
2017-11-13 05:10:59 PM  
I think Evil is a weak word to use for what Facebook is. Get everybody to use you as a connection point for conversation, then mine those connections, sell the data, and give every con man and ad person a veritable map into their psyche. While you are at it, cross reference all that data with the person's web searches and correspondence from other communications platfoms.

Ingsoc from 1984 would cream their shorts for that sort of technology.
 
2017-11-13 05:30:47 PM  

T.rex: facepalm.jpg: The concept itself isn't evil, but the way it's been used certainly doesn't seem like a good thing for society. In the sense that it subverts real human interaction and emotion for shares and likes, yes- it's evil. It used to be that you would go outside in the evening and chat with neighbors or friends, or you'd hit up a bar or bowling alley and socialize.

Oh... please ... i had a college professor decrying that exact same thing....except it was 1997, and he was talking about email and the internet, in general.        Facebook didn't invent the loss of community... it simply filled the void by the community which was already long ago lost.


I think there's room for nuance between "Facebook destroys communities" and "Facebook does nothing".

Nobody is saying that Facebook is single-handedly responsible for the downfall of modern communities, but it has supplanted a lot of face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication. As a creature we've just spent the last several thousand years establishing our entire culture and society based around face-to-face and voice-to-voice communication. We've just spent the last 100 years or so (starting with telephone/radio) dismantling that shared experience and replacing it with something that carries far less body language and verbal cues.

To suggest that Facebook hasn't changed the way we relate to each other is just as silly as saying that Facebook caused a community to collapse.
 
2017-11-13 06:55:47 PM  
This is the third article in this vein I've seen this month, so maybe that's a good thing.  Things are being put out into the reading sphere, at least.

It's sort of a philosophical question, multi-layered, hard to make sweeping generalizations.  Gambling has been around forever and is designed to be addictive, is that evil?  Are drugs evil?  Even physical exercise is addictive if you do enough of it - is that evil?

The large portion of non-tech-savvy society that was only vaguely aware of the evolution of computing and the internet through the 70s-80s-90s had to eventually land somewhere after AOL, I suppose.  Is Facebook a worthy place to be that somewhere?  Well, who cares whether or not we think it is - for better or worse, everybody's there now.  It provides a familiar interface and humans like familiar spaces.  It provides a platform for historically muted segments of the population to speak and be heard, that's good.  It can be used to spearhead worthy drives and causes.

Then, the unsavoury:  herd formulations and herd mentality, highlight reels of lives presented as the norm, amplification of baseline idiocy, echo chambers, and of course even electoral/political manipulation that's so topical right now.  Predatory capitalism and propaganda on the disenfranchised and the gullible (just like always, but now with improved personalized access).

So no, subs, I don't think it's evil in the classic sense of the term, but I do think it's sad that chance and circumstance have resulted in it becoming the singular internet portal for so many.  The whole original idea of the web was a universal pasture - FB is a gated community.
 
2017-11-13 07:19:41 PM  

facepalm.jpg: T.rex: facepalm.jpg: The concept itself isn't evil, but the way it's been used certainly doesn't seem like a good thing for society. In the sense that it subverts real human interaction and emotion for shares and likes, yes- it's evil. It used to be that you would go outside in the evening and chat with neighbors or friends, or you'd hit up a bar or bowling alley and socialize.

Oh... please ... i had a college professor decrying that exact same thing....except it was 1997, and he was talking about email and the internet, in general.        Facebook didn't invent the loss of community... it simply filled the void by the community which was already long ago lost.

I think there's room for nuance between "Facebook destroys communities" and "Facebook does nothing".

Nobody is saying that Facebook is single-handedly responsible for the downfall of modern communities, but it has supplanted a lot of face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication. As a creature we've just spent the last several thousand years establishing our entire culture and society based around face-to-face and voice-to-voice communication. We've just spent the last 100 years or so (starting with telephone/radio) dismantling that shared experience and replacing it with something that carries far less body language and verbal cues.

To suggest that Facebook hasn't changed the way we relate to each other is just as silly as saying that Facebook caused a community to collapse.


I hear you.   but you have to take the good with the bad.... It might allow for (and even perpetuate) online communication at the expense of face-to-face, but by the same token, there are positives in that..   Easily being able to know what every person from your life's history is generally up to, with the click of a button, thats pretty revolutionary.... Sure, the experience is not going to be as 'deep', but a lot of those things, it doesn't NEED to be deep....   Superficial conversation is ok... its better than zero communication which would've been the alternative in most of these cases.
 
2017-11-13 07:47:25 PM  
Allocate your time. Exercise (or begin developing) some discipline, burn the term "screen time" into your brain, and poof! Like magic, you somehow completely negate this nefarious "programming" everyone keeps referring to.

You program your own mind. That is your responsibility.
 
2017-11-13 09:46:43 PM  
I don't know if Facebook is evil, but it is really really dumb.

Checked it out once many years ago and was like no way Jose.
 
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