[thingist] the thing with facebook

Caspar Stracke kasbah at thing.net
Thu Jul 15 23:16:06 UTC 2010

oh please...you were misquoting and misunderstandig me -
I follow the entire fb privacy debate, lastly because I am on fb which
-as a mass communication tool- ironically has a hard time to avoid the 
of politically active members that -among other things- strategically 
plan fb's very own demise.

I found the two suicide sites smart, funny, but strongly agree with Sean 
Dockray they are not very effective
and I guess since FloodNet the opposite direction,  filling it up with 
noise, had always proven to be the smarter way to go.

So, ... I cannot and will not continue a fb privacy / data profiling 
debate - but luckily there are some
great possibilities for action, instead.

(despite, when the new kids have figured out the jabberworking, we all 
can join the diaspora)

Hope we can rather concentrate on thing archive efforts.


> Caspar Stracke wrote:
>> Re: Facebook links and interaction with social media 
>> absolutely not necessary  in my opinion. A Facebook antidote?  Despite
>> debates on privacy, I dont really understand the big fuss here. What 
>> has one to do with the other?
>> People come to fb to giggle with (or at) their friends or -as some 
>> THING members- becoming friends with Paul the octopus. That's it.
> i am always surprised how sanguine some people, who in many other
> respects display some degree of critical faculty, take the facebook
> phenomenon.  during the dot com years, i somehow got on the list of a
> focus group head hunter.  he probably thought the "ceo" of thing.net
> would be a qualified participant for focus groups that dealt with new
> online services, technical products, advertising and these kind of
> things.  i often gladly accepted, since the groups met in the early
> evening, not too far from the office, and included coffee and sandwiches
> and at the end of a 90 minute session an envelop stuffed with $200 in
> cash.  this is the difference, facebook doesn't give you free coffee and
> cash and behind the one-way mirror glass wall there are no human
> marketing spooks watching you, but banks of computers registering your
> every "like" and  aggregating it into mind-blowing amounts of marketing
> data.  
> recently some web sites popped up helping facebook and other social
> networking aficionados to "commit suicide,"  sites like
> http://www.seppukoo.com/ and http://suicidemachine.org/   (btw, the
> southpark episode is worth the download).  they all were hit with cease
> and desist orders from zuckerberg & co and surprisingly they all
> complied.  another indicator how media culture has changed.  we relished
> those fights and employed every trick in the book to keep going and
> provide time and legal wiggle room, didn't matter whether the opponent
> was DOW or eToy or Mattel.
> recently on the idc list an aricle appeared which i am reposting below.
> the author of the article notes the suicide phenomenon on social media
> networks and suggest an even more effective method of resistance.  stay
> on and just befriend everybody and like everything, just flood the
> system with meaningless clutter (not that it isn't full of that
> already).  so THE THING member you allude to, the one befriending paul
> the oracle octopus, is doing just that.  back when i was doing these
> focus group sessions, i was almost always bored to death with the
> products or design suggestions, so i  invented  answers i thought they
> might be fishing for or sometimes i just went for the opposite.  it was
> a similar strategy.  at least i was paid handsomely for my time.
> ---- from iDC list --------------------------------------------
> Sean Dockray wrote:
> Everyone now wants to know how to remove themselves from social
> networks. It has become absolutely clear that our relationships to
> others are mere points in the aggregation of marketing data. Political
> campaigns, the sale of commodities, the promotion of entertainment –
> this is the outcome of our expression of likes and affinities. And at
> what cost? The reward is obvious: we no longer have to tolerate
> advertisements for things for which we have no interest. Instead our
> social relations are saturated with public relations. But at least it is
> all *interesting*!
> Unlike the old days, when we could invent online identities daily, our
> social networks today require fidelity between our physical self and our
> online self. The situation is unbearable.
> The frightening consequence of it all is that we believe in the value of
> these networks. We understand perfectly well that our privacy is being
> renegotiated without our consent; the rules are changing in plain view;
> but we still participate! It is like a new form of money, something we
> realize is a myth, but we act like it is real and that is its power. We
> can’t leave because everyone else is there! Or because we are invested
> in the myth ourselves.
> The question is how do we extract ourselves from this predicament?
> Recently, some programmers figured out how to computationally do exactly
> this. By entering in your username and password, the software would
> delete as much information as possible, ultimately removing the account
> itself. It was a radical enough idea to attract the legal attention of
> Facebook.
> This software did not go far enough!
> When someone disappears from Facebook, does anyone notice? Does this
> software retroactively invalidate all of the marketing data that has
> been collected from the account? Has this person de-dividuated
> themselves? No, silence has not disrupted the system in the slightest!
> Social networks need a social suicide. In the same way that 99.99999% of
> users on Facebook don’t exist within the cloistered world of one’s home
> page, an invisible user – one who has committed suicide – is simply a
> non-factor in the constant and regular computational logic of the thing.
> The answer isn’t silence, but noise!
> Suicide on a social network is a matter of introducing noise into the
> system. It spreads viruses and misinformation. It makes things less
> interesting for others. It disrupts the finely calibrated advertising
> algorithms on which suggestions are made – for friends, groups,
> institutions, ideas, and so on. Social networking captures, quantifies,
> and capitalizes on positive feedback. It records and reproduces
> similarity. Oh yes, everyone is not watching one of three mass-produced
> choices; but beneath all of the possibilities there is only one choice!
> The one for you!
> A roadmap for an effective Facebook suicide should do some of the
> following: catching as many viruses as possible; click on as many “Like”
> buttons as possible; join as many groups as possible; request as many
> friends as possible. Wherever there is the possibility for action, take
> it, and take it without any thought whatsoever. Become a machine for
> clicking! Every click dissolves the virtual double that Facebook has
> created for you. It disperses you into the digital lives of others you
> hadn’t thought of communicating with. It confuses your friends. It pulls
> all those parts of the world that your social network refuses to engage
> with back into focus, makes it present again.
> Invisibility comes in many forms, and on social networks it is the form
> of a radical overload of information – a maximum participation. No more
> thought, because every considered click adds to the collaborative
> filtering algorithms that makes sure everyone continues to like what
> they like, but in slightly modified form. Click everywhere, click often,
> and don’t stop until you have disappeared beneath a flood of
> meaninglessness.
> This is a call for suicide, for the abandonment of seriousness and
> belief. It is a call to reclaim ourselves from the sad version of
> ourselves that lives in that bloodless village. Don’t become nothing,
> the singular point defined by an absence, become everything, with
> everyone else. Drown the system in data and make a new world in the
> ruins that remain!
> iDC — mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity
> ---------------------------------
> and if you are still not clear what "the big fuss about privacy and
> facebook" is about, here is a starter via bruce sterling:
> http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/05/facebook-backlash-time/
> ahoi mate,
> wolfgang
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*caspar stracke*


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