STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Facebook Spies on You to Manipulate Your Emotions
By The Daily Bell Staff - June 09, 2017

Learning through observation is an important trait for humans, and can account for many aspects of why we are a highly advanced species. Just as peers’ behavior influences our own, it should come as no surprise that we are also influenced by the emotions of those around us.

Those who inject themselves into our lives also influence our emotions. It is no longer just face to face contact that humans deal with on a daily basis, but also a barrage of information from the news media and social media.

A Facebook study performed in 2014 has implications far beyond the social network. The study found that when a user was shown fewer positive posts, they were more likely to write negative posts themselves, and vice versa. So simply by having some negativity injected into them, a person is more likely to go and express negativity. And what will those further infected with negativity do? The same thing, spreading the sadness that Facebook primed.

And though Facebook always takes things further, they are still relatively new to the emotional manipulation scene. News media have been doing this for years. During the 90’s, violent crimes rates were dropping, and the news was showing more stories about murder. By the end of the 90’s people were clamoring for the government to do something about the out of control murder rate that seemed to be skyrocketing. But the world was actually safer than a decade earlier; the only difference was that people were hearing about more negative things in the media.

Just consider how easy that is for social and mainstream media to manipulate people on a broad scale. It is less about inserting a particular belief, and more about influencing the overall feelings.

They could even induce certain emotions for certain reasons. For instance, if a re-election is coming up, Facebook could inundate people with negative posts, even having nothing to do with the election. But feeling negative overall, if that person goes to the polls they would be more likely to vote for change since something is causing them to be so sad all the time.

Or maybe when Facebook needs to sell you something, they will spread positive posts all over your feed, putting you in a good receptive mood where you are more likely to say yes, because you just nodded yes in agreement to posts about how cute puppies are, that women are being empowered, and that chocolate isn’t so bad for you after all.

As Usual, Facebook Pushes the Privacy Boundaries

But Facebook wants to take it even further. Facebook wants real-time updates on how happy or sad they are making people.

They have submitted a patent to spy on users through their phones’ camera in order to analyze their facial emotions in real time. They want to see every wrinkle and grimace, smile and chortle. With this information, their big data empire will grow to untold heights. Never has a company before had such immense power to analyze that type of data on such a large scale.

Facebook says it could use the technology to deliver more content that people like, without them having to “like” it. But another possibility is that they could deliver content to change the emotions of the viewer. In a perfect world, they would see the content making someone sad, and instead, deliver happy content until that frown turns upside down. But in the real world… it is possible Facebook would do the opposite.

Of course, this is super creepy. As a private company, Facebook should be able to do what it wishes. But every step it takes seems to make the social networking site less palatable. Will they go too far? Or is there “baby steps” approach to data domination effectively curtailing any exodus?

The other question is, just how much of this information will be made available to employers, schools, governments, and other organizations who want to scoop up specific users’ data in order to vet them for a job or admittance into their group?

Recently a group of students who were accepted to Harvard had their offers revoked after it was discovered that they were participating in a meme sharing Facebook group. The students posted and joked about offensive memes. When Harvard found out, it revoked the acceptance offers for some of the students.

Harvard is not to blame for this; you could debate whether or not they went too far, but it is entirely within their rights as a private organization to refuse admittance to those they deem immature or a liability to their reputation. But a just a few years ago, this was clearly not an issue. Whatever offensive opinions a person held in their minds were not given a public avenue that could damage their reputation.

Now, it is currently pretty easy to avoid this type of public shame: just don’t post and react to offensive material. But with the new facial emotion analysis technology that Facebook is exploring, will you even be able to hide your true opinion?

Could you imagine a dystopian future where everyone walks around with a dead-pan blank expression to keep their “thought crimes” from companies and governments?

Unfortunately, Facebook could be pioneering this type of situation. Beliefs that you never expressed publicly could come to light by seeing how your face reacts to information, memes, and articles.

Think of all the eye rolls they will be recording every time an article about the social justice warriors’ newest shenanigans is released. Is scoffing a micro-aggression?

 

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Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • Spanky Lee

    It becomes harder to read this sort of thing without feeling anger not towards Facebook, but to the blithering lemmings that use it.
    If you are too stupid to know that you are being spied upon, you probably aren’t a risk to anyone but yourself.
    If you don’t care because you’re doing ‘nothing wrong’, reconsider your assumptions. ‘First they came for the trade-unionists…. etc. etc. etc.’ well we all know how that goes.
    If you don’t care because its just all so abstract, well then modern life is going to pose significant challenges to you going forward.
    If you do care but have given up, well…take a year or two and pull it together. Never give up. Meantime, no Facebook!
    Got it?

  • Murphy Pickard

    The answer to these s kind of reports is always the same:
    If you value your privacy, freedom, and individuality then stop being a victim by cleaning up and then abandoning your account.

    • The Diaspora Alternative

      Concerned about having your news and views being called “FAKE” and controlled and “moderated” by parties unknown and hostile to you?
      Unhappy about the treatment you are getting from “controlled and moderated” social networks! 

      DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE!!

      There *ALREADY IS* a good alternative to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit and the other centralized, privately owned/government subsidized and overly regulated, moderated and controlled social networks! 

      P.S. It is FREE (no cost to user) and there are NO ADS. And it is owned, maintained and operates in the same manner as the Bitcoin network–by individuals just like you and me!!
      BONUS!! You can run your very own Diaspora node on the network if you so desire!

      Example: NaturalNews has their own node.

      EXCERPT from wikipedia:

      The Diaspora social network is constructed of a network of nodes, or pods, hosted by many different individuals and institutions. Each node operates a copy of the Diaspora software acting as a personal web server. Users of the network can host a pod on their own server or create an account on any existing pod of their choice, and from that pod can interact with other users on all other pods.

      Diaspora users retain ownership of their data and do not assign ownership rights. The software is specifically designed to allow users to download all their images and text that has been uploaded at any time.

      //en.m.wikipedia(DOT)org/wiki/Diaspora_(social_network)
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora_(social_network)

      Logo Graphic
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3b65c83e0eaf5c0413967a7dde8b8e632048fd92ee51a40baa22d3125ba45b32.jpg

      NOTE: Google+ looks similar to Diaspora because Google copied the open source software from Diaspora, removed the decentralized node code and added advertising, spyware and Google controls.

      Moved to Diaspora*
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      JUST WALK AWAY!!https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ad6f400fbd6f13d3e88f190fdfd066b7fc0e092fb9bf8c4d45ed5086a652b276.jpg

      Diaspora is a quintessential example of spontaneous order, free (as in NOT-regulated) expression and de-centralization!

      Like the Darknet, Free or “Black” Markets, PGP encryption, BitMessage, Forth, Puppy Linux, Creative Commons, open source software, “mesh” networks, Bitcoin and coins of gold and silver,  Diaspora does not and will not appeal to everyone–and like all the named items, it is not necessary that “everyone” embrace them. Those who *DO* use them, create their own value amongst themselves without depending on corrupt and collapsing governments, their crony corporate handmaidens and other government camp followers and dependents.

      Diaspora – NO ADS!  That means no sexy click bait, no ad-sense revenue, no flashing ads, no clever pop-ups between you and the text you are reading, no tracking and no one looking at you thru your own camera. No one gets paid by Google or Amazon or whoever when you click on their Diaspora postings. 

      It really *IS* a different experience! YOU have to build up what you want to follow. Google’s top executives such as Eric Schmidt and Facebook’s Zuckerman and Amazon’s Bezos and Microsoft’s Gates and all their lesser moderators and serfs are not there telling you what you should like, based on what they spied you doing during the last hour of web surfing. 

      When you first use Diaspora, the quiet can be a bit overwhelming! I notice the difference now when I LEAVE Diaspora. It is like being abruptly dropped into the middle of rush hour freeway traffic.

      Here is an alternate “poke in the eye” for “moderated” social media:

      1. Open a Diaspora account or start your own node.

      //en.m.wikipedia(DOT)org/wiki/Diaspora_(social_network)
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      2. Copy your Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Reddit etc. content to your new Diaspora account (or node).
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      4. Enjoy your new-found Internet freedom!

      • Murphy Pickard

        I am just not a “sharing” person on social media, but can see why people use them. Still they are selling their souls for that privilege.
        Thank you Dennis for presenting an alternative. If I were sharing I might use it instead of FB.

        I also use Signal, LINE, Whatsapp, and Protonmail because they are all end to end encrypted. Of course all my phone and desktop traffic goes to a private overseas server via ExpressVPN as well.

  • Casey Phyle

    …it is entirely within their rights as a private organization to refuse admittance to those they deem immature or a liability to their reputation.
    Uh, could you tell that to the pastry shop owner who was forced to sell a wedding cake to queers? Why should the bad guys always have it both ways?

    • Freedom means supporting the rights of people to behave in a way you disagree with. The pastry shop owners should not have been forced to serve any customers they didn’t wish to serve, even if it was for a bigoted reason.

      • georgesilver

        “Freedom means supporting the rights of people to behave in a way you disagree with.”
        No way Jose. Tolerate yes but not support.

  • SnakePlissken

    Facebook was funded by the CIA. Not a joke. Google it.

    • Frank

      In-Q-Tel.
      Also funded Google Earth and the hunting little Peek-a-Choo game.
      THEY MUST KNOW EVERYTHING!!

  • Boysie

    This is a Crime Against Humanity – because some of their victims have nothing in their life – someone gave them a phone with a camera – then they get (fb) not realizing that they are giving away their soul without their knowledge or consent,,,

  • Anon.

    That’s not the only way technology can manipulate our emotions. The video below shows almost a dozen patents from the late 1980’s until 2003 by a career gov researcher with the DOD/DARPA etc. claiming he has experimental proof emotions can be manipulated with low intensity low frequencies from monitors/screens.

    https://youtu.be/yf_EdKxfDiY

  • georgesilver

    Daily Bell meme:- “FaceBook is dangerous … it’s out to control your mind and emotions… be very afraid. Stop interacting with friends and family. Only look at the Facebook adverts and articles presented to you. Do not use your discrimination and selection abilities. Above all switch-off your scam detector.”

    The Daily Bell has obviously not got the sophisticated systems of FaceBook and is unaware of its readers intelligence. I should imagine most readers here who use FaceBook know the score and use FaceBook to their own ends and give FaceBook the ‘finger’ at the same time. LOL.

    • ßḫ…ߣⱦ ȶ€ɍ …ħÂƔễ… ɱɏ… ɯøȵⱻ¥

      you should look up the history of advertising. you should also read these articles:

      https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/everything-we-know-about-facebooks-secret-mood-manipulation-experiment/373648/

      http://nypost.com/2017/06/07/facebook-is-going-to-use-your-phones-camera-to-spy-on-your-emotions/

      the whole history of advertising can be summed up in one statement – they did everything they could subliminally to make you feel inferior and then offered their product as the solution.

      this isnt even about facebook specifically, but smart phones in general, by someone deep in the tech industry:

      https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/11/the-binge-breaker/501122/

      all of these sites, apps, etc – theyre all designed to be subliminally addictive and keep you locked in. facebook tracks everything you do, messes with your emotions, now wants to spy on you further through your phone camera – all so they can sell everything about you to advertisers for targeted ads. the more negative articles you read about politics or whatever, the more articles you get that reinforce that negativity and whatever the view is (extensively covered in this election with fake news, russia, all of that – ignore the politics, focus on how they use the technology). if you suffer from depression or other mental illnesses youre even more susceptible to being used in this way. its a form of mind control that you willingly sign up for. if you can use it responsibly (aka barely use it) then youre doing alright. if you find yourself wasting too much time on it (whatever that amount of time is) – something is wrong. these technologies shouldnt be so addictive but they are designed to addict. honestly, facebook and the tech industry in general remind me of big tobacco just before it was realized how bad tobacco is for you.

  • Gadfly156

    Don’t notions of this nature basically stack the deck against personal responsibility? I’m imagining numerous conversations along the lines of:
    PERSON READING: This is b/s — nobody is in control of how I feel and react but myself
    PERSON BELIEVING THIS ARTICLE ENTIRELY: Ohhhh you are such a sheep, you don’t even realize how controlled you are!!

    I mean WTF, seriously. Causing people to believe they are being controlled, so that they unconsciously abdicate self-control and/or excuse not exercising it in their lives, is itself a form of control. So what really is the purpose of articles like these?

  • HaplessChild

    When I was about eight years old my dad instructed me:
    “NEVER volunteer information!”

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