I must admit that I’m not on Facebook. I don’t have time for any additional routine maintenance chores, and I’ve heard that Facebook is a real time-sucker. So I let it be.
Then someone told me that FB is a nest of spyware and privacy-invasion, and that confirmed my decision to stay out of it.
A writer at the German site Junge Freiheit contributes the following piece about the insidious allure of Facebook in his country. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:
They Only Want the Best for Us
by Dieter Stein
Do you have a profile on Facebook? No? Don’t worry, you are by no means in a minority in Germany and you are saving a lot of time. Over twenty million Germans have joined this “social network” and keep up contact there with “friends,” or their virtual equivalent. Facebook is a toy intended to motivate the user to voluntarily reveal as much as possible about him/herself.
It is seductive on trips to post photos on Facebook and wait to see which “friends” press the “I-like-it” button or comment on the picture. The incautious person has turned on the automatic locater, so a profile of movements is added. Younger students especially are tempted by a certain group dynamic to enter increasingly absurd things on Facebook: party pictures, information about the current partner, and more.
Insidious Process of Identity Exposure
What are the consequences? Employers automatically research Google and Facebook to see what information the applicant has left there. This could lead to the applicant’s disqualification, because confidentiality and a serious impression are decisive.
The danger is that minors often ease into a gradual process of revealing their identities, and a jumbled mass of information is produced which later may be difficult to correct. It is doubtful whether Facebook allows an untraceable erasure of data.
Why do Facebook and Google even collect all of that data about us that the security services can only dream of having? They make impossible sums of money from it: Facebook made over two billion dollars and Google over thirty-eight billion through advertisement. And counting.
A Totalitarian System Comes on Little Cat Feet
In the future, facial recognition is expected, for quicker location of chance acquaintances. That could revolutionize even more the Facebook police search that is already being done. Nobody knows if someday his Facebook files will be laid in front of him to confront him with a misstep. Carelessness led to the fall of Schleswig-Holstein CDU politician, von Boetticher, who had met a sixteen-year-old lover on Facebook.
Unnoticed and on little cat feet, a totalitarian system is coming to enfold us. It blandishes us with services. entertainment, social contacts — and even leads us to believe in security. Will we escape it? I myself have a Facebook page with 1,400 “friends” to solicit for the work of Junge Freiheit — an interesting medium of contact. Shall I erase my profile? Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org