You have probably seen a message, or email, or even a recent Facebook post claiming that a dangerous Facebook Hacker by the name of Jayden K Smith working his way through the Facebook community and hacking user accounts with ease. In fact, this "hacker" is so good that you are at risk if even one of your friends has him in their friends list. This is quite scary and also not real at all. Yup, that message, email, or post is just like every other chain message out there, completely full of crap.
Hate is a powerful item and when it spills out it can be violent, rude and many other things. Because of the power of hate found in images, media, mems, etc., many have wondered why there are not more efforts to prevent the posting or sharing of such information. After all why would a media (social or other) want to allow hate speech or images posted on their pages. Facebook took this thought process and turned it into a policy that is designed to help stop hate speech from showing up. Now the system has inadvertently started censoring the wrong people.
It is said that nature abhors a vacuum and that is certainly true. Something will come along to fill the void if we let nature take its course. Unfortunately this law is a little mutated in the consumer electronics market and especially in the PC component world. Here is reads; the market cannot stand not having an “It” technology, so we much create one. It seems that the last few years we have been watching this happen.
Data collection, monitoring, storage, and mining are simply part of our online lives. If you connect to a site, it is going to collect some information about you. If nothing else it will collect the session information (IP address, time on site, pages read etc.), but will not use that for anything more than understanding traffic. Other sites will collect and maintain more information than that and in extreme cases you will get much more collected than that. However, no one seems to know what use this data is being put to and if there is any benefit to the collection at all.
When you hear people talking about anonymity on the internet it most people will think privacy. When companies hear anonymity on the internet they think piracy, crime, hacking and lost revenue. This is probably the biggest disconnect in the internet age, companies want to monetize your personal information. This is big money and (as we have said more than once) is a commodity that they have been trying to legalize for more than a decade.
Dating website OkCupid seems to think that Facebook’s manipulation of their subscriber’s news feeds as an emotional experiment is perfectly ok. Their reasoning? “That's how websites work.” Yes you read that right. According to Co-Founder Christian Rudder this type of thing goes on all the time and so it should not be a surprise to anyone and no one should be upset about it.
Recently a comment from former Valve contractor, Fabian Giesen that VR is “bad news” brought up an interesting point. On the surface the technology has some interesting implications for making gaming, multi-media and even social networking more interactive and engaging. However, there is a much darker side to this technology that might escape the eye because of the flashy parts.
If there was ever an indication that virtual reality might make it in the mainstream market it is when the web browsers start to support it. So far we have heard rumblings that Microsoft, Google and even Mozilla will be throwing their lot in with the VR gang. One of the big reasons for this is that Facebook has already pushed into that territory with their purchase of Oculus VR. After buying the virtual reality headset maker there have been multiple rumors of Facebook making a VR social world as an extension of their existing social network.
The dire warnings of manipulation through mass media are usually seen as the arena of the paranoid. Most will label anyone that claims we are being controlled in this manner as part of the tin foil hat club. Now that it we find that Facebook itself might have participated in an event designed to manipulate people’s emotions through their news feeds these claims do not sound too crazy any more.
Facebook bought the startup company Oculus VR for reasons that they have not quite made public, but it has been assumed that it was to help them get into the gaming industry as well as expand Facebook in a new way. So far we have heard a few rumors about what this goal might be including a vast virtual world that takes online social interaction to a new level.