Computer algorithms that analyze #Facebook “Likes” understand your thinking better than your spouse #DeleteFacebook #Privacy

Facebook (and Youtube and Twitter) have conducted a global experiment on human populations without consent of the guinea pigs by analyzing our “Likes”.

Facebook’s digital model of us is more accurate than our own understanding of ourselves.

Computers need evaluate as few as 100 Likes to make a judgement more effective than a human. Analyzing just 300 Likes enables the model to know more about the subject than does the subject’s spouse. Computer models achieve “peak” accuracy when more than 500 Likes are observed.

We show that (i) computer predictions based on a generic digital footprint (Facebook Likes) are more accurate (r = 0.56) than those made by the participants’ Facebook friends using a personality questionnaire (r = 0.49); (ii) computer models show higher interjudge agreement; and (iii) computer personality judgments have higher external validity when predicting life outcomes such as substance use, political attitudes, and physical health; for some outcomes, they even outperform the self-rated personality scores. Computers outpacing humans in personality judgment presents significant opportunities and challenges in the areas of psychological assessment, marketing, and privacy.

Given the variety of objects, subjects, brands, and people that can be liked and the number of Facebook users (>1.3 billion), Likes represent one of the most generic kinds of digital footprint. For instance, liking a brand or a product offers a proxy for consumer preferences and purchasing behavior; music-related Likes reveal music taste; and liked websites allow for approximating web browsing behavior. Consequently, Like-based models offer a good proxy of what could be achieved based on a wide range of other digital footprints such as web browsing logs, web search queries, or purchase records


Youyou, W., Kosinski, M., Stillwell, D. (2015). “Computer-based personality judgements are more accurate than those made by humans”. PNAS. January 27, 2015. Retrieved from: on April 3, 2018.

Likes are the Secret Sauce of Social Media Surveillance

“Likes” are the secret sauce. We give Likes out of kindness and believing we may have been thoughtful towards a “Friend”. We give Likes, sometimes as a form of “bookmark” so we can find something later, by reviewing our Likes. The entire process was conceived as a form of mind control, to cause us to reveal our thought processes and patterns.

We now know – never, ever click Like on Facebook or Youtube or Twitter and never click +1 on Google platforms. It is unclear what is collected by Instagram and how Likes are evaluated on that platform but it is presumed that Instagram (aka Facebook) ties photo Likes to the image tags used in photo descriptions.

These platforms have created a psychological profile of every user. The analysis includes not only our Likes, but our Group memberships, our self selected Interests (Page Likes, especially), our self provided background such as education or religious interests, an analysis of our text, analysis of our online web site visits (Facebook and Google both track our web site visits across the web), and may include text analysis of posts we have made on other web sites or web sites that we operate ourselves, such as blogs like this one.

While Facebook let’s us download “our data”, Facebook does not provide us with the psychological model they have created about each of us. We do not know what it contains nor do we have any way to correct errors in that model.

Comedian Will Ferrell, and Cher, and others delete #Facebook accounts #DeleteFacebook

Ferrell said he couldn’t “use the services of a company that allowed the spread of propaganda.”

Source: Will Ferrell, reluctant social media user, declares he’s deleting his Facebook account More at the link.

Cher deleted her account, actor Jim Carrey deleted his, and Indian Actor/Director Farhan Aktar deleted his personal account but still maintains his professional account.

I am seeing a veritable flood of Facebook news, none of it positive for Facebook.

How media manipulates your interpretation of a news story

Nearly every story on Facebook this week has featured this Getty Images photo of Zuckerberg looking contrite:

The photo first appeared in the press in about May of 2017. In other words, this photo is about one year old.

The media has deliberately selected an old photo of Zuckerberg to make it look like he is contrite and feeling badly about the current predicament of Facebook. This assertion, however, is made up entirely by fiction writers in the media. We have no idea how he feels right now – for all we know, he’s smiling that he pulled his scam for so long!

The point is – the media itself is manipulating you by selecting this photo which has nothing to do with the current situation.

Source: In Just a Few Painful, Embarrassing Minutes, Facebook Showed Just How Arrogant It Is |

Facebook has angered everyone

Conservative Republicans are sure the company has discriminated against them. Democrats on the left will find it hard to embrace the network when claims of helping to their opponent into the White House — whether accurate or not — have become a dominant public narrative in the press.

Source: Even Facebook Former Insiders Are Turning Against the Company With #DeleteFacebook |

The Cambridge Analytica/Facebook spying story was first published 28 MONTHS AGO




How Cambridge Analytica used your Facebook data to help the Donald Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

Source: The Data That Turned the World Upside Down – Motherboard

Good God. The U.S. media is so full itself that it missed this story in broad daylight since January 2017.  Quite frankly, U.S. media has rendered itself utterly useless.

Guess I need to be reading Motherboard. They had the story more than a year ago.


Kinda of funny that the UK press broke the story on how social media was manipulated by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

The U.S. media spent 17 months chasing a story about $44,000 worth of Russian-linked Facebook ads while UK’s Channel 4 did real journalism, discovering the role Cambridge Analytica played with purloined personal data from Facebook, to craft highly customized propaganda campaigns and fake news to potentially throw a U.S. election.

This is the story – and the role that social media plays at it has devolved into a frictionless propaganda platform. Sorry U.S. media – you missed this story.

Source: UK – Channel 4 News

Who watches this crap?

Apparently way too many people:

The Nielsen company said 26 of the 40 most-watched programs on cable television last week were political shows on Fox News or MSNBC, including each weeknight telecast by Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity and Lawrence O’Donnell.

Source: Nielsens illustrate the popularity of political shows

This is not news. It’s celebrity gossip and propaganda. Why do so many waste their time on this? Boredom?

Am guessing we never hear another word about “Russia hacked the election” after today

Cambridge Analytica:

  • The full scale of their pivotal work in Trump’s election win

  • How they avoid Congressional investigations into their foreign clients

  • Setting up proxy organisations to feed untraceable messages onto social media

  • Using a secret email system where messages self-destruct and leave no trace

  • Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in the “Defeat Crooked Hilary” brand of attack ads

Source: Exposed: Undercover secrets of Trump’s data firm – Channel 4 News

Cambridge Analytica is claiming they threw the election for Trump, using potentially stolen personal data on 50 million Americans and social media propaganda.

I am thinking a very large number of Americans may want to consider deleting their Facebook accounts.

Google launches program to combat fake news

Of course, it could end up with biases that turn it into yet-another propaganda operation, by flagging legitimate stories that have “wrong public opinion orientation”.

On our own platforms, we’re focused on combating misinformation during breaking news situations.  Bad actors often target breaking news on Google platforms, increasing the likelihood that people are exposed to inaccurate content. So we’ve trained our systems to recognize these events and adjust our signals toward more authoritative content. There are comparable challenges on YouTube, and we’re taking a similar approach, highlighting relevant content from verified news sources in a “Top News” shelf.

But we’re also working directly with news organizations to combat misinformation. We’re launching the Disinfo Lab alongside the First Draft to combat mis- and disinformation during elections and breaking news moments. Finally, to help consumers distinguish fact from fiction online,  we’re teaming up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, and the Local Media Association to launch MediaWise, a U.S. project designed to improve digital information literacy for young consumers.

Source: The Google News Initiative: Building a stronger future for news

This initiative will be used, and certainly gamed by many parties, to censor information not coming from approved sources. In other words, this could devolve into quite a propaganda coup.

Because they’ve been a sleep?: “Why Are We Only Now Talking About Facebook And Elections?”

Four years ago Obama’s campaign was lauded as “masterminds” for harvesting Facebook friend lists to build digital profiles for voter targeting, even recording who they were photographed with, while today Cambridge Analytica is villainized as “exploiting” Facebook – what’s changed?

Source: Why Are We Only Now Talking About Facebook And Elections

If only someone had written about this stuff on a blog or something…on well …