/ Still using Facebook?

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
john arran 09:57 Fri

Does anyone here still think allowing Facebook to manipulate your and others' opinions is worth it?

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/11/01/tech/facebook-false-ads-uk/index.html?__twitter_impression=true

What will it take for people to start prioritising what is right above what is convenient?

Report
Neil Williams 10:01 Fri
In reply to john arran:

It only manipulates your opinion if you let it do so.  Otherwise it's a useful time wasting tool.

Report
john arran 10:04 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It only manipulates your opinion if you let it do so. 

I think you'll find plenty of psychological studies that would demonstrate otherwise. There may be occasions when people recognise false information and factor it into their opinions, but in general advertising works, whether it's telling truth or lies.

Report
In reply to john arran:

Haven't been on it for a couple of years. I don't miss it.

I don't think Trump or Brexit would've happened without Facebook.

Report
john arran 10:08 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

Also, after a separate thread recently, it's not surprising that you might be one to defend the spreading of political lies, given that in this case the likely beneficiaries are those supporting Leave. Surely truth and honesty should be goals worth striving for regardless of political leaning?

Report
In reply to john arran:

Turning away from it (which your title suggests, or so it seems to me) isn't going to stop the spread of misinformation (lies?). At least when I'm on it and someone posts crap, you get to call them out on it. 

Facebook (or is it now FACEBOOK?) need calling out for allowing it. 

Report
Neil Williams 10:11 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> Also, after a separate thread recently, it's not surprising that you might be one to defend the spreading of political lies, given that in this case the likely beneficiaries are those supporting Leave. Surely truth and honesty should be goals worth striving for regardless of political leaning?

You've made a very big assumption there - I am a Remainer.

I'm also a big supporter of 5th Amendment style free speech - critical thinking and vocal opposition to bad ideas is better than hiding them.

As for FB itself, I prefer the idea of platforms like that being considered common carriers and that they should have no involvement in what is posted on them other than the removal of stuff like porn (particularly child porn).  They definitely should not be censoring opinions, whether I happen to agree with them or not.

Post edited at 10:13
Report
john arran 10:11 Fri
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

You're right, but the fewer people use it, the less useful it will be for those that still do, and there will soon come a point where they switch to other means of communicating. Which will bring about its demise far quicker than people trying to make changes from within when they're largely pretty powerless to do so.

Report
john arran 10:13 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> You've made a very big assumption there - I am a Remainer.

It's not an assumption. You've told us many times your stance on the EU. And you've also communicated precisely the opposite in your posts.

Report
Neil Williams 10:14 Fri
In reply to john arran:

Probably also true - but it is incredibly useful for things like event management, so absent anything else it'll carry on.  It has lasted well by being that bit better than the likes of Myspace (remember that?).  Google tried to kill it with Plus but failed - but who says someone won't have another go?

It's also quite good for keeping in touch with people who you wouldn't otherwise be in touch with.  Some people rubbish that, but others like it.  If you don't like it, fine, but I quite like seeing what my old schoolmates are up to and occasionally interacting with them even if I'm not likely to go to the pub with them any time soon.

Post edited at 10:15
Report
Neil Williams 10:17 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> It's not an assumption. You've told us many times your stance on the EU. And you've also communicated precisely the opposite in your posts.

You can be a pragmatic Remainer without thinking the EU is perfect.  That's what I am.  I think the EU has many, some very major, faults, but a massive s***show could have been avoided by doing none of this and Remaining as we were.

I voted Remain and would do so again if offered a second opportunity.

If you think otherwise that's up to you, but I'd suggest you are just pursuing an agenda if so.

The point I *have* made is that it may be too late to Remain, i.e. we are utterly discredited in the EU so Remaining may not be practical - that's rather different.

Post edited at 10:18
Report
john arran 10:19 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

You are, of course, welcome to once again state that as your opinion.

Report
Neil Williams 10:19 Fri
In reply to john arran:

And you are being a fool, frankly - what do we have on here other than to take posts as read?  I'm not entirely sure, however, what exactly that has to do with Facebook, or indeed a thread on the use of belay devices which is the main one I've been on recently.

Post edited at 10:20
Report
In reply to john arran:

> You're right, but the fewer people use it, the less useful it will be for those that still do... 

If by that you mean less useful for those that still use it for advertising falsehoods because market share/viewing figures are down, then you're probably right. 

> and there will soon come a point where they switch to other means of communicating. Which will bring about its demise far quicker than people trying to make changes from within when they're largely pretty powerless to do so.

Probably. But toxic will always find a place.

I enjoy your input John (mainly because I agree with it - echo-chamber much!) and I do wish that what was put out there in Facebook/Twitter world didn't need filtering (because as we know, many people are very bad at it, myself included), but I don't feel guilt or unease at using Facebook as an idle time-wasting device. I guess we can all make a personal stance and fair play to you if that's what you're doing.

Report
Coel Hellier 10:22 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I'm also a big supporter of 5th Amendment style free speech

I think you're mis-counting, the 5th Amendment giving you pretty much the opposite right to the 1st. 

Report
john arran 10:23 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> what do we have on here other than to take posts as read?

Experience of having read plenty of other posts that together paint a very different picture. I thought that was obvious.

Report
Neil Williams 10:28 Fri
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I think you're mis-counting, the 5th Amendment giving you pretty much the opposite right to the 1st. 

Sorry, wrong Amendment - the principle stands though

IOW, say what you like, but others can say what they like about you too, so free speech is to be exercised responsibly otherwise you will be countered by right-thinking others.  If you see what I mean.

Post edited at 10:28
Report
Neil Williams 10:29 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> Experience of having read plenty of other posts that together paint a very different picture. I thought that was obvious.

You of course have every right to think that if you want, but you are wrong to do so.

Report
James Malloch 10:44 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> Does anyone here still think allowing Facebook to manipulate your and others' opinions is worth it?

> What will it take for people to start prioritising what is right above what is convenient?

I've stopped using it other than to check if malham/Kilnsey is wet. Given they always are even that functionality is kind of pointless..

Report
In reply to Neil Williams:

> As for FB itself, I prefer the idea of platforms like that being considered common carriers and that they should have no involvement in what is posted on them other than the removal of stuff like porn (particularly child porn).  They definitely should not be censoring opinions, whether I happen to agree with them or not.

I wouldn't normally point this out on (in the setting of a forum) but in the context of the thread I think I will:

The term  "child porn"  is a very unhelpful one.  It associates something legal with something that is illegal.

Porn is legal - but child abuse images are illegal.

The term child porn therefore creates an element of legality around the subject matter. Some will dismiss this as ridiculous - but there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.

- As to in the context of this thread  -  putting some lies alongside some truths - make the lies seem real/plausible - and the intended message gets spread far and wide.

Most of the propaganda spread around facebook - whether it is Brexit / anti-vacs etc is based on some little bit of truth which gives it credibility - which is then hitched onto a load lies/bile/hatred/inaccuracies which skews the whole message.

Report
In reply to Neil Williams:

> You've made a very big assumption there - I am a Remainer.

> I'm also a big supporter of 5th Amendment style free speech - critical thinking and vocal opposition to bad ideas is better than hiding them.

> As for FB itself, I prefer the idea of platforms like that being considered common carriers and that they should have no involvement in what is posted on them other than the removal of stuff like porn (particularly child porn).  They definitely should not be censoring opinions, whether I happen to agree with them or not.

But these platforms are being used manipulate opinion by powerful entities that feed false information to people. How is that free speech.

Report
Neil Williams 10:54 Fri
In reply to Nempnett Thrubwell:

> I wouldn't normally point this out on (in the setting of a forum) but in the context of the thread I think I will:

> The term  "child porn"  is a very unhelpful one.  It associates something legal with something that is illegal.

> Porn is legal - but child abuse images are illegal.

> The term child porn therefore creates an element of legality around the subject matter. Some will dismiss this as ridiculous - but there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.

Fair point - FB should remove child abuse images, then, as they are not an appropriate use of "free speech".  Though I'm not sure even that term is perfect, because it leans towards describing the really nasty stuff rather than all of it, even if the fact is that it describes all of it.

The official term "indecent images of children" is possibly best.

Either way, it's not a valid use of free speech, and FB should indeed be removing it and reporting it to the police where it is found.

Post edited at 10:55
Report
Offwidth 10:55 Fri
In reply to john arran:

Our climbing club uses it to to fix meets etc. Hard to see anything wrong in that.

Report
Neil Williams 10:58 Fri
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> But these platforms are being used manipulate opinion by powerful entities that feed false information to people. How is that free speech.

It's irresponsible use of free speech, but it is still free speech.  I'd rather they weren't doing it, and I counter it if it pops up on my feed, though.

Report
Neil Williams 11:00 Fri
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Our climbing club uses it to to fix meets etc. Hard to see anything wrong in that.

Event management is something it's really quite good at.  You can even use it to invite people who aren't on it and it does an Outlook style email.

Report
Andy Johnson 11:13 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I only use it because the club I'm a member of uses it to arrange meets etc. Other than that, I almost never use it. To keep in touch with friends I prefer email or WhatsApp.

When I do use FB I'm always struck by how clunky and old-fashioned it looks, like its tech is stuck in 2011 somehow. Even the mobile app isn't that great really. Fake news and privacy violations aside (and they are important issues) it's just not that attractive a way to spend time in my opinion.

(Is "I prefer email" the new "I don't own a TV"?)

(And yes, I know that FB owns WhatsApp)

Report
Neil Williams 11:15 Fri
In reply to Andy Johnson:

I don't get the love for Whatsapp, it's clunky and awkward and tied to one device, and uses an outdated concept (a phone number) as the primary key.  I vastly prefer FB Messenger as a tool.

I use it because others I know do, but I don't *like* it and it wouldn't be my choice.

Post edited at 11:15
Report
DancingOnRock 11:31 Fri
In reply to john arran:

Facebook aren’t manipulating anything. It’s the users. How Facebook can be expected to fact check millions of posts is beyond me. 
 

Unfortunately, it’s just not possible to stop the spread of misinformation and it’s not possible to counter everyone’s argument. A large percentage of politics is opinion and stretched half truths anyway. If you read a political advert and believe it then there’s no hope for you and Facebook can’t be expected to police the World’s political opinion. If they do that they’ll then run the risk of not being seen as impartial. 
 

They could ban all political speech, a couple of other forums I use have banned it. It makes for a better place to be. If I want to argue nonsense with idiots I can always come here. 

Post edited at 11:32
Report
john arran 11:43 Fri
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Facebook aren’t manipulating anything. It’s the users. How Facebook can be expected to fact check millions of posts is beyond me. 

I agree that it's a huge task. But it's one they seem perfectly happy to accept for non-political ads.

Why the difference for political ads? I can't think of any good reason that isn't itself political. Which, when you consider the number of people being influenced by these ads throughout this and plenty of other countries, is really nothing short of chilling.

Report
DancingOnRock 11:51 Fri
In reply to john arran:

As I say. There’s no facts in politics. It’s all opinion. It’s why everyone argues. If there were facts then there would only be one proper way of doing things. 

Report
Pan Ron 11:52 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I get the impression FB relies on people reporting items to flag up suspect content.

That's easy to react to if its child porn or something clearly dodgy.  It will be pretty obvious.

But you can be guaranteed that every political advert they show will be reported by large numbers of people by default - simply because people on the other side of the political divide can't handle that political viewpoint existing and being made public, no matter how benign.  So they are simply inundated with false reports.  This makes it much more difficult to police.

Report
dread-i 12:06 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I don't use it or other social media. Having said that, my wife uses it and will occasionally tell me things that are happening or have happened locally. She doesn't post my picture on there.

What boils my piss though, is that we've moved to FB Workplace at work. Everyone is expected to be on it. I have no idea what information has been shared by my company about me. Probably my name, work email, ph number. I wonder how the information is being used and if it has populated a shadow profile on the other side. I also wonder if anonymized data is available to third parties.

You realise that it is considered 'normal' to have a social media account. Entry into some countries may require you to hand over logins to your social media.

But it's ok, as we give all of our corporate details, emails and sensitive company documents to microsoft office. They, or one of their 'partners' can then cross reference that data with whats on linkedin. Clearly, no one would ever use this data for nefarious purpose. Everyone trusts microsoft and they have never been in trouble with the law...

Report
Neil Williams 12:08 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> Why the difference for political ads?

Because politics is mostly opinion and conjecture about "what we would do if".  Very little of it is facts.  Consider both Brexit campaigns - they were both dirty and both full of conjecture.  I do wish they'd banned campaigning for that and instead tasked the BBC with just reporting the facts, all of which available at the time would probably fit into a 30 minute television programme.

Banning it is one way, but it's near-impossible to censor it for facts as it's pretty much all based on conjecture.

Post edited at 12:08
Report
Neil Williams 12:09 Fri
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> As I say. There’s no facts in politics. It’s all opinion. It’s why everyone argues. If there were facts then there would only be one proper way of doing things. 

I'm not sure that's entirely true.  For instance, a low-tax, low-public-service economy works, and a high-tax, high-public-service one does as well - that's just a choice - both have upsides and downsides.  I prefer the latter but that's just me.  You can look round the world and see both in operation in variable places and study the effects of each if you want.

I do agree with the first bit, though - politics is generally about "what we would do if" which can't be anything other than conjecture.

Post edited at 12:10
Report
Neil Williams 12:13 Fri
In reply to dread-i:

> But it's ok, as we give all of our corporate details, emails and sensitive company documents to microsoft office. They, or one of their 'partners' can then cross reference that data with whats on linkedin. Clearly, no one would ever use this data for nefarious purpose. Everyone trusts microsoft and they have never been in trouble with the law...

M$'s business model is selling expensive software, so they are probably alongside Apple (whose business model is selling expensive hardware) in terms of who you can trust in terms of what they do with data.  But nobody is immune to a breach, and so the best way for them not to have your data is not to give it them.

FB Workplace is an interesting one.  They'll have details of your corporate account etc, but no, they won't "create a shadow profile on the other side", and it's not public to cross-reference with LinkedIn - but if you're concerned about LinkedIn, don't have an account on there.

Post edited at 12:13
Report
DancingOnRock 12:24 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

Quite. They both work, they have upsides and downsides. There are no facts that support one is better than the other but some people will argue that one is better than the other by using facts that support their argument and omitting ones that don’t. That’s lying by omission and it’s rampant in advertising. 

Report
john arran 12:26 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Because politics is mostly opinion and conjecture about "what we would do if".  Very little of it is facts. 

Nobody has ever proposed restricting conjecture or party promises. Only facts. So if there are very few facts presented in political ads, surely it would be reasonable to make sure these facts are true, to the same standards as any other paid-for ads.

I can't think of a single non-political reason why political ad facts should not be checked in the same way as non-political ad facts. Can you? Remember, we're not talking opinion here, simply verifiable untruths - of the kind that you may see written on the side of a bus, for example.

Report
DancingOnRock 12:30 Fri
In reply to john arran:

Even what was written on the bus was deliberately open to interpretation. It wasn’t a fact, but it wasn’t completely false was it? Politics is full of spin. 

Report
dread-i 12:40 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

>FB Workplace is an interesting one.  They'll have details of your corporate account etc, but no, they won't "create a shadow profile on the other side", and it's not public to cross-reference with LinkedIn - but if you're concerned about LinkedIn, don't have an account on there.

>>>FB Workplace is an interesting one.  They'll have details of your corporate account etc, but no, they won't "create a shadow profile on the other side"

You know this because...

Facebook creates shadow profiles about potential users based on posts by current users. It's well documented.

>and it's not public to cross-reference with LinkedIn - but if you're concerned about LinkedIn, don't have an account on there.

It was micrsoft who I was referencing re. linkedin. (They own it.) It would seem, from an espionage point of view, they they know all of what an employee does. Email, documents, voice and txt chat via teams or skype etc. That can be cross referenced with linkedin data to see where someone sits in the business, who they work with which projects they are on etc.

I don't have a linked in account either. However, in my line of work not having social media and linkedin is considered a plus point whit employers.

Recruiters, bless 'em, seem to think that if someone doesn't have social media they are another recruiter. Some recruiters will will pose as job seakers, to try and identify companies who are advertising vacancies. They can then offer their recruitment services, and take work away from the first recruiter. I know this, as I've applied for roles and the recruiter became suspicious when he couldn't add me as a friend on linkedin. It's dog eat dog, out there.

Report
Neil Williams 12:48 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> I can't think of a single non-political reason why political ad facts should not be checked in the same way as non-political ad facts. Can you? Remember, we're not talking opinion here, simply verifiable untruths - of the kind that you may see written on the side of a bus, for example

What was on the bus is now known to be false, but at the time because the form of Brexit was not known it was mere conjecture (conjecture that most of us would see as unlikely to be true, but that's different from being demonstrably false).  It could not be verifiable as an untruth at that stage, though it would be now.  Hindsight is an amazing thing.

If you restricted politics to saying demonstrable, auditable truths, they'd be able to say almost nothing at all.  Maybe a good thing, but then maybe not.

Post edited at 12:49
Report
Eric9Points 12:49 Fri
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> As I say. There’s no facts in politics. It’s all opinion. It’s why everyone argues. If there were facts then there would only be one proper way of doing things. 


There are downright lies, like the one about Keir Starmer the other day. There are also plenty of other things in the political sphere that are factual such as economic growth or unemployment statistics.

It's worth remembering that there is a difference between scepticism and cynicism.

Report
LeeWood 12:51 Fri
In reply to john arran:

Whats happening on FB is just the tip of the iceberg. How about banning advertising everywhere ?

Or just if there's a sound reason ? Examples: Environmental - all cars above 1.5L and air travel. Consumerism which supports uncurbed growth - latest smartphones and computers. Deforestation - grain fed meat and tropical timber.  

The list goes on ... how will staying or remaining be viewed in 50yrs time when a tsunami tidal wave washes through at 3rd level in Regent St ??

Report
Eric9Points 12:59 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I use Facebook because I'm in a number of groups but I don't post much on my own page. There's something about the format of FB that makes it rather toxic, it seems to show people in their worst light.

Regarding political ads, of course it's outrageous and has everything to do with revenue. I have turned off everything I can on FB for privacy reasons. I don't want to be sent anything and I don't want them to know anything more about me than I can help. On the odd occasion I have been sent something political I report it as offensive and add a comment under the ad along the lines if "get this shite off my page and never come here again" following it up with something damaging damaging to the advertiser such as a link to a list of lies told by that party.

Seems to work and it only takes a few minutes to regain some control on what you see.

Report
Blue Straggler 13:02 Fri
In reply to dread-i:

> I don't use it or other social media.

Why do you not consider chatting on the UKClimbing.com forums to be "using social media"?

Post edited at 13:03
Report
dunc56 13:09 Fri
In reply to john arran:

why does Zuckerberg look like Pob now ? 

Report
Sir Chasm 13:10 Fri
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> As I say. There’s no facts in politics. It’s all opinion. It’s why everyone argues. If there were facts then there would only be one proper way of doing things. 

Claptrap. We're having an election, Boris is the PM, Corbyn loves Stalin. These are all facts and they're all politics.

And the idea that there is only one way of doing things is risible, you might as well say we know the height of Everest therefore there is only one way to reach the summit.

Report
Rob Parsons 13:12 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> What was on the bus is now known to be false, but at the time because the form of Brexit was not known it was mere conjecture (conjecture that most of us would see as unlikely to be true, but that's different from being demonstrably false).  It could not be verifiable as an untruth at that stage, though it would be now. 

That's incorrect. See e.g. https://fullfact.org/europe/350-million-week-boris-johnson-statistics-authority-misuse/

Report
Neil Williams 13:17 Fri
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I'm not sure £250m would have had a massively different impact, it's still a big figure.  The rest of it that link appears to consider to be conjecture.  Unlikely, yes, but absent knowing what the Brexit deal was not demonstrably false.

This is why I favoured a complete ban on campaigning for the referendum - it's too hard to draw the line.

Post edited at 13:17
Report
Rob Parsons 13:19 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I'm not sure £250m would have had a massively different impact, it's still a big figure. 

The point is that the £350m figure was known to be a misrepresentation at the time  - which is contrary to your claim above.

Report
DancingOnRock 13:22 Fri
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Claptrap?

That’s exactly what I’m saying. If there was only one way of doing things it would be easy. There isn’t, there’s a whole host of people arguing which route to take. And proposing reasons why their way is best and the other way is bad. 
 

And none of them will point out that their route does actually have a few slight problems where you might fail quite seriously. 

Report
Sir Chasm 13:25 Fri
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Claptrap?

Yes.

> That’s exactly what I’m saying. If there was only one way of doing things it would be easy. There isn’t, there’s a whole host of people arguing which route to take. And proposing reasons why their way is best and the other way is bad. 

No, you exactly said "There's [sic] no facts in politics." It's just a silly statement.

> And none of them will point out that their route does actually have a few slight problems where you might fail quite seriously. 

That doesn't mean there's only one way.

Report
Neil Williams 13:51 Fri
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The point is that the £350m figure was known to be a misrepresentation at the time  - which is contrary to your claim above.

Yes, I stand corrected on that part.

Report
Dax H 14:24 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I closed my account 4 or 5 years ago, not for privacy issues though. I just got fed up with it. I may go back one day but if I do there will be a massive cull of my friends list to real life friends only. 

The Mrs is still on it but only has 8 real life friends on there and is a member of a local community group that is quite handy but even that has its share of fake news. 

2 weeks ago the road was shut by armed police, according to posts from a witness on the community group the reason was the local Asian owned corner shop had been arrested and they found bomb making equipment in the flat above the shop.

In reality it was 4 doors down that was the target where a known white armed robber lived but the local shop was just inside the police cordon. 

Report
Neil Williams 14:26 Fri
In reply to Dax H:

It's funny you say that - as one thing I find it very useful for is keeping in touch with old friends and acquaintances - a bit like Friends Reunited but less contrived.  If I wanted just to keep in touch with the people I actually hang round with day to day (which is a far shorter list) I'd use a Messenger or Whatsapp group.

As I said, some people like to just keep a small circle of friends who they interact with day to day, I quite like keeping vaguely in touch with what people I spend less time with day to day are up to, e.g. old schoolfriends.

Post edited at 14:27
Report
dread-i 14:37 Fri
In reply to Blue Straggler:

>Why do you not consider chatting on the UKClimbing.com forums to be "using social media"?

Good spot.

Perhaps a more accurate phrasing might be, that I have tried to opt out of surveillance capitalism.

Report
WaterMonkey 14:46 Fri
In reply to john arran:

If they are genuine adverts then surely they should be controlled by the advertising agency rules.

I tend to report all adverts that come up on my feed and this keeps them at bay for a while.

I do believe that facebook is leading to the general dumbing down of society and i do my best to correct any incorrect information that is shared. If all of the more intellectual users stopped using facebook though the dumbing down would just get worse and worse.

Personally I think the share button should be removed. You should only be allowed to share stuff you have created or written.

Report
Neil Williams 14:46 Fri
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> Personally I think the share button should be removed. You should only be allowed to share stuff you have created or written.

It is less available than it used to be - but that's a good point, it would get rid of a lot of the dross if you had to retype it and think about it as you did rather than blindly clicking share.

Report
john arran 14:50 Fri
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> If they are genuine adverts then surely they should be controlled by the advertising agency rules.

You would think so, eh?

But apparently political party ads are excluded from ASA control so they can lie at will!

Report
In reply to john arran:

I use it to keep in touch with friends and family; and I think the 'still' in the title of your post is presumptive; just as there's an assumption in the question you ask first in your post.

If you're the type to be influenced by Facebook, twitter, your daily newspaper or news websites you read because you take what is written about something controversial as holy writ, then it's probably best if you avoid such things for a while, or possibly completely.

Facebook is like a car; it's a tool.  Just make sure that when you use it, you aren't being a tool.

T. 

Report
mbh 15:07 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I never did use Facebook much, but found myself getting sucked into following people who were associated with me in some way but who I, more often than not, barely knew. Before long I was scanning pictures of people I didn't know doing stuff I didn't care about, with a ton of comments to follow. I have better things to do with my time than imbibe all that. So I ditched it about three years ago.

Report
Bob Kemp 15:34 Fri
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

You're taking a very rational approach, and I am sure that this can protect against lies and disinformation. But propaganda doesn't work at that level - it's designed to subvert rational faculties by creating confusion, setting up divisions - us-and-them thinking - appealing to emotions and generally setting up an uncertain and distorted perception of the world. It works through coded speech and 'dog-whistle' messages, and some of this can be very subtle, juxtaposing acceptable messages with language that has negative connotations to produce an unsavoury message. Even if we're pretty smart we can still be vulnerable, especially in a world where we are bombarded with so much information. There isn't always time to consider things properly. 

Report
SenzuBean 16:14 Fri
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Why do you not consider chatting on the UKClimbing.com forums to be "using social media"?

I think there's an important distinction to be made between UKC style, and facebook style.

I would argue that the distinction is that on UKC, you choose what you want to read (i.e. you can see
everything that has been posted, and then choose not to read it).
On facebook, they choose what you get to read (yes theoretically it is possible to individually examine each of your friends pages and discover what they did recently, but this is made impractical by the user-interface - wasn't the whole point of a news feed was so that you didn't have to do this anyway?).

Report
In reply to john arran:

> Does anyone here still think allowing Facebook to manipulate your and others' opinions is worth it?

Read any newspapers recently...?

Report
Timmd 16:18 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I use facebook for the keeping in touch side, but I don't take anything to do with political, social or medical matters on it at face value. 

Post edited at 16:20
Report
Robert Durran 16:19 Fri
In reply to john arran:

> Does anyone here still think allowing Facebook to manipulate your and others' opinions is worth it?

Does anyone here still think allowing UKC to manipulate your and others' opinions is worth it?

> What will it take for people to start prioritising what is right above what is convenient?

Yes, this new fangled "sport climbing" thing is an abomination.

Report
Neil Williams 16:40 Fri
In reply to SenzuBean:

> On facebook, they choose what you get to read (yes theoretically it is possible to individually examine each of your friends pages and discover what they did recently, but this is made impractical by the user-interface - wasn't the whole point of a news feed was so that you didn't have to do this anyway?).

That does grate.  You used to be able to set it to show all your friends' updates in chronological order (a la Twitter) but they took that away recently.

Post edited at 16:40
Report
In reply to john arran:

Facebook has got a lot worse. Didn't it come out around 2008? It was amazing. I got in touch with my old New Zealand climbing partners who I did a South American super alpine trip with.  I found that my old uni pals hadn't changed one bit, which was rather worrying. I even got back in touch with a guy I worked with planting trees in Arkansas. 

But then, the same old people started posting the same old stuff. I actually started getting fed up with hearing about other people's amazing achievements. Their wonderful photos somehow seemed to diminish the world and not enhance it. 

I have begun to yearn for the days of the phone directory, the phone in the hall at the bottom of the stairs and discussing politics in the pub where we can see each other. 

I reckon Facebook will decline soon. We will look back at the 2010's as the Facebook years. 

Nice start up, though Mr Zuckerburg. I am sure if he had asked my opinion in 2004 I would have said " Nah...it will never catch on". 

Report
Eric9Points 17:06 Fri
In reply to Robert Durran:

There's a big difference.

Facebook let's organisations employ very clever people to produce adverts designed to shape your opinion. You don't get a chance to test the information in that ad.

UKC consists of punters talking about stuff where you can ask them questions if you're sceptical and expect to get an answer. If you don't get a good answer you, or someone else, can ask again or ask something else. In that way, most of the time, the thread arrives at a destination near to the truth.

A Facebook analogy would be a politician putting up a post and then having to defend it to a fairly large and often sceptical audience. How long do you think most politicians would get on on UKC? I suspect a lot of them and their policies would get torn to shreds.

Report
Bob Kemp 17:11 Fri
In reply to captain paranoia:

Facebook and newspapers are very different. Newspapers can't specifically target individuals and groups. Their biases are well-known whereas Facebook ads can be anonymous or disguised. It doesn't have editorial control over its content. Newspapers are subject to standards and legal constraints (yeah, I know...) whereas Facebook is virtually unaccountable. I'm sure there are more differences.

Report
Robert Durran 17:18 Fri
In reply to Eric9Points:

> There's a big difference.

> Facebook let's organisations employ very clever people to produce adverts designed to shape your opinion. You don't get a chance to test the information in that ad.

How common are these ads? I don't seem to get any. What I do get is loads of political "shares" and posts from "friends".  Many of them are highly questionable and I either ignore them or call them out as nonsense (sometimes after a quick google to check their source).

Report
Chris H 17:25 Fri
In reply to john arran:

Is not using facebook the new 'I haven't got a telly'?  Last time I looked neither of these were mandatory. I find it great as I can carefully curate my life to make me look like a daredevil adventurer and also watch cat videos..

Report
felt 18:13 Fri
In reply to Chris H:

I don't care for the cut of Zuckerberg's jib and wish to have nothing to do with his site.

Report
wercat 18:19 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It only manipulates your opinion if you let it do so.  Otherwise it's a useful time wasting tool.


that is either complacency to the power of ruin or a severe misrepresentation of what is perpetrated through social media.

It's like saying weapons only hurt you if you let them

ps I guess these guys might as well pack up and go home then?

https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/6th-united-kingdom-division/77-brigade/apply-to-join-us/

Post edited at 18:22
Report
wercat 18:21 Fri
In reply to Eric9Points:

see "Brexit:The Uncivil War" for an exposition of this

Report
Dax H 19:20 Fri
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It's funny you say that - as one thing I find it very useful for is keeping in touch with old friends and acquaintances - a bit like Friends Reunited but less contrived.  If I wanted just to keep in touch with the people I actually hang round with day to day (which is a far shorter list) I'd use a Messenger or Whatsapp group.

That isn't what I meant, I meant actual friends including those from days past but not the friends of friends and random people you meet once and end up adding. 

Report
In reply to Bob Kemp:

> Facebook and newspapers are very different. Newspapers can't specifically target individuals and groups. Their biases are well-known whereas Facebook ads can be anonymous or disguised

So it's okay that their biases are known?

They are mostly owned by mega-rich individuals, and they have consistently influenced political opinion in this country, over decades ("Hoorah for the Blackshirts!"). Brexit is almost certainly down to this political influence, with anti-EU lies spread by a large section of British newspapers over the last 30 years.

Newspaper stories are also 'disguised' as news. Most isn't simple factual reporting of events; it is almost all spun with a political intent.

You acknowledge that the 'controls' on them are ineffectual; misleading stories and headlines are retrated only months later, with a couple of lines of small print buried on p27. No-one reads that. So the misleading story is what remains.

Report
Eric9Points 20:36 Fri
In reply to captain paranoia:

What you say is true but it doesn't mean we need any more of that crap.

Report
pasbury 21:01 Fri
In reply to john arran:

The problem is with profiling and targeting. One entity can profile different sets of consumers and present them with different ‘advertising’. These adverts are designed to appeal to the demographic they’ve profiled and every click from every user only adds to the refinement of their machine learning algorithms.

The difficulty comes from basic democratic accountability; if different groups of finely targeted consumers are being presented with finely tuned adverts designed to appeal to their assumed opinions or prejudices then who can audit the overall political message of any political entity? What colour is a chameleon? What shape is a cloud?

I believe that Facebook has become an experimental test bed for populism - not by design I hope; though Mr Zuckerberg has been exceptionally disappointing in his reaction to the suggestion that his platform presents a threat to democratic norms that may be exploited by the unscrupulous.

Report
Rob Parsons 21:47 Fri
In reply to captain paranoia:

> They [newspapers] are mostly owned by mega-rich individuals ...

The Guardian isn't. And while - as an example - The Times is owned by Murdoch, it is still a paper worth reading in the general attempt to engage in an internal dialogue, and to synthesize and clarify one's own point of view.

Of course, when reading anything, one needs to be both sceptical and thoughtful. There was an excellent article by Gary Younge in The Guardian recently which addressed related points -  see https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/25/deference-powerful-media

The problem with attacking newspapers in the way that you seem to be (?) is that it can rapidly degenerate into a class issue: 'I read Broadsheet X, because I am clever and can't be subject to any malign influence; He reads Tabloid Y because he is a thick bastard who believes anything that he's told.'

Post edited at 21:59
Report
Bob Kemp 22:29 Fri
In reply to captain paranoia:

> So it's okay that their biases are known?

I'm not trying to defend newspapers - I think you're missing the point, which is that 'news' on Facebook can be tailored to people based on individual data, and can be leveraged by a wide range of countries and political organisations to target propaganda in a totally uncontrolled way. I know that newspapers can be pernicious in their effects, but social media-based propaganda is a step-change that moves things to an entirely new and dangerous level. 

Report
Bob Kemp 22:30 Fri
In reply to Eric9Points:

> What you say is true but it doesn't mean we need any more of that crap.

A rather more succinct way of saying what I tried to say above!

Report
In reply to Eric9Points:

> What you say is true but it doesn't mean we need any more of that crap.

No, we don't. But I think newspapers are a much bigger issue than Facebook, even allowing for the targeting that goes on. Newspapers are also self-targetted; people buy their echo chamber, but how much of that echo chamber had been shaped by their past reading?

My parents used to buy the Daily Mail. When I left for university, and then came home, I noticed what a hateful rag it was. Previously, I hadn't noticed. Away from its foul influence, I had come to my senses.

Report
In reply to john arran:

I don't get targetted political messages on my FB feed. I rarely get adverts, apart from the odd burst every now and then. Maybe their targetting algorithm has realised I don't click on any shit they post, apart from to say "I'm not interested".

Report
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The Times is owned by Murdoch, it is still a paper worth reading in the general attempt to engage in an internal dialogue

I'm sorry, but I disagree. The Times is a shadow of its former self. It's The Sun, but with longer words, and not as many tits.

Report
Blue Straggler 23:32 Fri
In reply to SenzuBean:

> I think there's an important distinction to be made between UKC style, and facebook style.

There is a difference, of course. All I was saying that both are social media, in the same way that a modern 977cc 3 cylinder Honda Civic and a 5.0l Ford Mustang are both burning fossil fuels. 

Report
Rob Parsons 09:21 Sat
In reply to captain paranoia:

> I'm sorry, but I disagree. The Times is a shadow of its former self. It's The Sun, but with longer words, and not as many tits.

As a tangential comment: Murdoch bought The Times in 1981 - i.e. about forty years ago. According to your profile you are 54, so the paper's 'former self' you are referring to dates from the period when you were about 14 years old. I'm not sure how well you remember the details of the paper at that time; I myself don't. So perhaps there is an element of projection and/or nostalgia in your claim.

Report
The New NickB 09:46 Sat
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Your maths is a bit off, perhaps deliberately to try and make a point. However, newspapers generally don't change overnight, especially very old very respected newspapers. That said the descent of the Torygraph has been pretty swift.

Report
EdS 12:18 Sat
In reply to john arran:

Oh the irony of people pitching about this and posting their opinions as fact.......on social media

Report
In reply to The New NickB:

> Your maths is a bit off, perhaps deliberately to try and make a point.

Indeed...

> However, newspapers generally don't change overnight

Agreed. The descent of The Times has been in the last few years, too. It continued as a quality paper well into the Murdoch era.

As for the Torygraph, well, Boris was writing his lies about the EU for them a long time ago.

Report
Rob Parsons 14:15 Sat
In reply to captain paranoia:

> > Your maths is a bit off, perhaps deliberately to try and make a point.

> Indeed...

Feel free to correct it.

> Agreed. The descent of The Times has been in the last few years, too. It continued as a quality paper well into the Murdoch era.

In which case I don't understand the point of your previous comment that most papers are 'owned by mega-rich individuals.'  If you are mostly happy with Murdoch's stewardship, what point are you trying to make?

Post edited at 14:16
Report
Offwidth 20:48 Sat

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.