The guy writing this seems to be a lefty liberal in politics. However, the facts about, and implications of, these social media platforms in our daily lives AND the way we willing give up every detail of our lives, not to mention HOW the media giants use that information, is spot on.
via Max Hastings Daily Mail UK
Almost 70 years ago, George Orwell wrote a nightmare into our language when, in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, he imagined a future in which ‘Big Brother’ scrutinizes an enslaved society with an all-seeing eye.
More recently, civil libertarians have warned ubiquitous CCTV and Government surveillance, born out of the fight against terrorism, have begun to fulfil Orwell’s prophesy.
Yet both the fictional fantasies and daily realities pale into insignificance alongside the threat posed by social media.
Scarcely imagined a generation ago, they have become a monstrous, intrusive presence in almost all our lives, especially frightening because of their influence upon children.
Don’t take my word for it. Facebook’s former technology chief said a few days ago the site is ripping apart the fabric of society — ‘eroding human interactions’ and leaving users feeling ‘vacant and empty’.
Security Minister Ben Wallace, who warned that internet giants should face punitive tax penalties if they don’t help deal with the threat of terrorism.
He said these ‘ruthless profiteers’ were failing to prevent the radicalisation of young people online, and thus forcing the Government to devote hundreds of millions in resources to tackle the threat.
This is all proof society has awakened to the fact that the way we go online and use our mobiles to communicate and shop has empowered the warlords of the electronic universe.
Headed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, these men and women are armed with the most personal details about each and every one of us such as no Gestapo, KGB or Inquisition in history ever dreamed of possessing. (Germany’s competition watchdog has just accused Facebook of a ‘limitless’ collection of users’ data.)
And all this information is being extracted every second of every day — not by red hot irons and thumbscrews, but because we are handing it over through our own actions.
The company’s origins explain a lot. Peter Thiel, one of its inventors, formed an early fascination for a 20th-century French philosopher and anthropologist called Rene Girard who identified a phenomenon known as ‘mimetic desire’. His reasoning was that, once human beings have met their basic needs for food and shelter, they are very vulnerable to a yearning to find out what other people are doing, then do it themselves.
Thus, at the heart of Facebook’s stupendous success is how it exploits the human weakness of ‘me-tooism’ (our wish to copy the behaviour of others) on a global scale. Its system empowers individuals to connect with others who think like themselves, in a way that no other medium in history has made possible.
Read more: HERE