Facebook Is Manipulating You

Facebook has been emotionally manipulating you.  On purpose.

In essence, Facebook purposely manipulated the data to toy with your emotions.  The results were published in the following article: Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

Basically the above article states the following:

We show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.

Technically, Facebook has every legal right to do this since psychological research is covered within the scope of their Data Use Policy:

For internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.

As interesting as the article is… I can’t help but feel creeped out.  It is important to always read the fine print.  And this above all… when it comes to social networking, you’re not the customer – you’re the product being sold.

Win a Cremation?

What a strange promotion. If I am lucky enough, I can “win” a free cremation. What’s even more odd… is the image choice for marketing: the below family dancing around after burning a body?

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Tiananmen Square: 25 Years Later

tankguyI was just 7 years old when I first saw the iconic “tank guy” photo.  Little did I know, that photo would stick with me for quite some time.  As a kid, I thought it was odd one person would try to stand in front of tanks.  As an adult,I feel the complete opposite: it’s odd to me that people wouldn’t stand up against censorship and the glorification of military power.

I would occasionally speak to students from Hong Kong when I was studying at ASU… and they would try to disassociate their hometown and culture  from Mainland China.  As my own political opinions change and evolve, I finally get this. I would not want to be associated with any group guilty of oppression or political domination.

I was always astonished Google was able to filter the entire internet at China’s request.  A search for Tiananmen Square at google.cn would yield only happy tourist attraction information.  Happy smiles, no tanks.  Before Google left China, and before Google left Phoenix, I would ask them the following at job fairs:

  • How long did it take you to censor the internet for China?  No Comment.
  • How do your censorship practices align with your company’s motto of “don’t be evil”?  No comment.

darth-vader-google-614xaI suppose it’s a moot point.  And not limited to Google.  Yahoo & Microsoft have their own price and have been guilty of the same thing.  Look around enough, and you can find skeletons in anyone’s closet… maybe even a few if we’re talking about soulless corporate cretins.

And now 25 years later, the following article from Economist caught my eye. Primarily when it comes to the clashing of China & Hong Kong:

“It used to be the case where pro-government groups would celebrate in the morning and pro-democracy groups would march in the afternoon. Now we see mutual respect in decline and a spate of incidents showing that Beijing suffers an acute sense of insecurity,” says Joseph Cheng, a professor of political science at the City University of Hong Kong.

Mr Cheng was the main organiser of a conference about the Tiananmen events of 1989 held over the weekend. Many were outraged when it emerged that a Taiwanese academic was denied entry to the city to speak at the conference. Professor Tseng Chien-yuan of Chung Hua University was told upon arrival at the Hong Kong airport that Beijing had cancelled his travel permit. Mr Tseng said that despite being neither a politician nor a security threat, he is now banned from the city.

The idea of borders and illegals has always been a bit unsettling in my mind; but its rare for such enforcement on academics.  It’ll be interesting to see what effect this has on any potential “elections” in 2017.  I predict something will happen, but it won’t be as democratic as the propaganda machines make it out to be.  I’m sure it’ll be some sort of pseudo-republic or oligarchy, if anything.  A masquerade; to ensure the few will lord and oppress the masses.

…but no matter what happens – China will always remain in my thoughts & prayers.