Look, I’m no Drew Olanoff, writer of such headlines as “Hey Facebook, could you fit any more branding on your fucking gifts” and other fine articles. He’s amazing. But
Facebook’s renaming themselves FACEBOOK in a vaguely Helvectica typeface (the capital A is more curved than it would otherwise be) is a play to make it really clear that when you’re using WhatsApp, you’re using Facebook. When you’re signed into Instagram, you’re using Facebook.
Provided you can remember your passwqord.
passwqord pic.twitter.com/9NNeZXtGse? Owen Williams ? (@ow) November 5, 2019
They’re changing the logo so that you’ll know WhatsApp and Instagram are owned by Facebook. The FTC won’t be able to claim you didn’t know this. They also want to make it look like WhatsApp and Instagram are deeply integrated with Facebook so they can’t be split up.
Facebook, of course, doesn’t deserve your loyalty. They’ve been selling you out for their own enrichment for the past 13 or so years.
In 2006, they started the News Feed. It shared everything you changed to your profile. Turns out, people don’t enjoy that.
In 2007, they started sharing what you purchased with your Facebook friends. They eventually let you opt-out of this. Funny thing about Facebook when they create an option to opt-out – periodically, they reset the options so you’re opted back in.
In 2013, Facebook had a bug that exposed 6 million Facebook users’ contact data to anyone who had any piece of your contact info. When you upload your contact list to Facebook, they use it to recommend you friend people you know. When you downloaded your own information, it gave you full contact info for the list you submitted, even if you only had an email address or phone number for them. Oops.
In 2014, they altered their News Feed, to show either more positive, or more negative stories. This was published as a study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They wanted to see how emotions could spread on social media. Facebook was using you and your friends as an experiment without your consent.
In 2015, Facebook cut off 3rd party app developers from having access to all the data they wanted. The problem is, they had no way of knowing how many developers were using information downloaded before being cut off.
Cambridge Analytica. Do I even need to write anything more?
Yes. I do.
Earlier in 2019, Facebook had a VPN app where they paid teenagers to route all their mobile phone traffic through Facebook’s servers. Facebook could see everything, what apps they used, what they did on them, all of it. For the low, low price of 20 bucks a user. It did cost them when Apple and Google figured out what they were doing and shut down their enterprise certificate. All business ground to a halt for a day as every internal app (the cafeteria app! The bus schedule app!) stopped working.
Today, November 6, 2019, NBC published a story about leaked documents showing Facebook used your data to give special access to their partners. This information came out of a lawsuit from one of the failed 3rd party app makers, Six4Three. How did this work?
Facebook gave Amazon special access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising.
Facebook used the same power to cut off apps it saw as competitors. Facebook owns Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp messenger. They cut off the messaging app MessageMe because they were afraid it might compete with Facebook messaging.
NBC is publishing the latest leak on Facebook. It contains:
- about 7,000 pages in total
- 4,000 are internal Facebook emails, web chats, notes, presentations and spreadsheets, from about 2011 to 2015.
- 1,200 pages are marked as “highly confidential.”
You can view PDFs of depositions, emails, presentations and other exhibits from Six4Three?s lawsuit against Facebook.