After switching computers and phones, Henry Grabar tried not logging into Facebook for nine days; the company's systems noticed and embarked on a relentless campaign of email harassment, automatically emailing him with algorithmically created enticements that were supposed to make him so curious about what all his "friends" were getting up to that he logged back in.
It was easily the longest amount of time I had logged out of Facebook since I joined in 2006, and the team in Menlo Park did not let me forget it. The network sent me a series of bewildering emails—17 messages in nine days—to tell me exactly what I was missing. In the process, Facebook made a better argument for its own irrelevance than I ever could.
Why Don’t You Like Us? [Henry Grabar/Slate]
A user called FBSaler is offering personal data for Facebook users at $0.10 each, claiming to have account data from 120,000,000 users to offer; to prove that they have the goods, they've dumped the private messages sent by 81,000 Facebook users; and account data from 176,000.
A year ago, Facebook apologized for allowing advertisers to target its users based on their status as "Jew haters" and blamed an algorithmic system that automatically picked up on the most popular discussions on the platform and turned them into ad-targeting segments.
Vice decided to test out Facebook's commitment to positively identifying the people and organizations behind political ads, so they applied for clearance to buy ads in the names of ever sitting US Senator, showing no proof, and Facebook granted permission in each case.
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