The Great Facebook Story Heist


We are living in a story, our own story.

The characters, acts, sets, scenes, challenges overcome (or not) are things we experience on a daily basis.

Our story includes all the people, products and brands we interact with.

Nowadays the act of living our story results in leaving a trail of digital breadcrumbs, and for many Facebook has an awful lot of the crumbs. You can download your breadcrumbs from Facebook here.

Over the past week, we have witnessed an acceleration in the fall from grace of Facebook.

Facebook was found to have done a less than perfect job at protecting our digital breadcrumbs.

Now, let's be honest, Facebook user's shouldn't be surprised that Facebook has this data. The breadcrumbs became a fingerprint representing you and your story. We willingly filled in our interests, posted photos, videos, reacted to the news, brands, and posts from friends.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Facebook uses this fingerprint to target us with advertising.

It's Facebook's business model. You are the product.

What *should* come as a surprise is that nefarious actors were able to trade and use that data beyond the Facebook platform and it's intended use. Arguably Facebook should have done a better job of protecting our data. Therein lies the problem Facebook currently face.

Here's a simple analogy. If you have a close friend and you tell them a personal story. You do so in the interests of your relationship. Sharing enables caring. Friends can offer support and advice. We get something from them and they from us. In the case of Facebook, they are one of our "friends." They are in the circle of trust. There are gives and gets in the relationship. We get a platform to be social online, for free. We get targeted with ads. Oh and how nice, the ads are relevant because Facebook listened to us, like any good friend, and tailored their communication to us accordingly.

So far so good.

Now, what if your friend then goes and discloses your ramblings, personal stories, frustration with another, or your anxieties, you name itt, with other people.

Not so much of a good friend now, are they?

But wait, It gets worse.

When you know someone's story at a level of intimate detail you have a certain power over them. And vice versa. This power is the scaffolding of trust. Friends share and have implicit power over each other. Friends keep that power in trust. Otherwise, they are not a friend and they can work to manipulate you and how people see you.

But wait… it gets EVEN worse.

Facebook not only failed to protect what information they had on you. The parties that got ahold of it used it wholesale, en masse, to manipulate whole segments of society.

Facebook broke the circle of trust.

We choose to be a part of something. Facebook users choose to be a part of that culture. A culture where Facebook was in our circle of friends. They had information on us. They then gossiped with terrible people and that gossip was used against us, against society, against democracy.

When we allow someone into our story we expect them to respect and honor us, and our story.

We do the same. And when we learn of a story we do not like we can choose to not be a part of it.

Many people are choosing not to be a part of the Facebook story anymore. And in return remove Facebook from their story.

Remember, your story has power.

This weeks link selection is all on theme;

First up:

This article is from 2011 - that's right over six years ago the "you are the product" narrative started


Not just Facebook. Google, and others. This goes into a bit more detail and is more current.


Some more from Wired. As we all know the world's relationship wiht Facebook has been changing, on a slow burn. These latest issues only serve to add fuel to the fire.

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