A lovely and uplifting one minute video tribute to Robin Williams. This is how I would like to remember Robin Williams.
Would you be happier if you were off of Facebook? This Dutch nonprofit initiative has created a website, 99 days of freedom, and is asking people to try their own experiment.
My own kids left FB years ago. On their own. They felt like the fights, the gossip and the drama was not worth it. All three of them say they are quite happy to not be on Facebook. Most of their friends are not on anymore either. The young people who still use it, tell me it for family and to keep in touch with their grandparents and family. How they use it has changed dramatically. The young people I am speaking with are college age and high school.
Most of them use Instagram and snapchat to communicate now.
Facebook paid one billion dollars for Instagram in 2012, so they found a way to get back and keep those kids who have migrated to Instagram.
Do you ever wonder what life is like without Facebook?
In response to Facebook’s controversial mood experiment involving some 700,000 unwitting users, we present you 99 Days of Freedom; an online study on how life without Facebook impacts user happiness. Joining is very simple: follow our three step instruction to join the experiment for as long as you like. We can’t wait to hear how you spend your time off.
Visit the website here.
Reaction to Facebook’s controversial mood manipulation study dominated headlines for a week. Lawmakers called for an investigation. Governments did, too. Consumer groups filed complaints. And of course, users threatened to leave.
The “99 Days of Freedom” initiative was dreamed up by employees at Just B.V., a creative agency in the Netherlands. It started as an office joke.
“Like a lot of Facebook users, many of us were bothered by reports of secret mood experiments,” Just’s art director, Merijn Straathof, said in a press release. “As we discussed it internally, we noted an interesting tendency: To a person, everyone had at least a ‘complicated’ relationship with Facebook. Whether it was being tagged in unflattering photos, getting into arguments with other users or simply regretting time lost through excessive use, there was a surprising degree of negative sentiment. Then someone joked, ‘I guess that the real question is, ‘How do you feel when you don’t use Facebook?’ There was group laughter, followed by, ‘Wait a second. That’s a really good question!”
Just chose 99 days because it thought users would lose interest if the campaign ran longer and it would be hard to measure emotional change if it was shorter. Straathof stressed the goal isn’t to protest Facebook or undermine its business. “Facebook is an incredible platform, we’re all fiercely loyal users and we believe that there’s a lot to love about the service,” he said.
As of early Friday morning, more than 6,000 people had signed up for the campaign, which was announced on Wednesday. That’s barely a drop in Facebook’s billion-user bucket.
Even if the campaign called for leaving Facebook altogether, would it work? Cornell University conducted a survey which it published in 2013 showing a quarter of Facebook users take breaks from the site by deactivating their account, and one in 10 completely quit. The survey was based on responses from 410 people – not exactly representative of Facebook’s much larger user base.
However there were some interesting results. The researchers found that Facebook users who deactivate their account are more likely to know someone else who has also deactivated – perhaps a sign that if enough people get mad at Facebook, a mass exodus could occur.
But mass exodus would mean overcoming the network effect. That would be tough. People might be mad at Facebook, but it’s still the site people use to catch up with friends and family. You can’t just leave it for another site because your friends aren’t on another site – they’re on Facebook. Even if you quit Facebook, you might be using another network it owns like Instagram or What’s App.
But plenty of alternative social networks are out there – some popping up just in time to capitalize on anti-Facebook rage. Sobrr is one such Facebook alternative. In a way, it’s the anti-Facebook. Instead of tracking everything you do, the site erases everything every 24 hours.
Erasing everything is a promise we’ve heard before. Remember Snapchat’s supposed commitment to privacy? Users were told photos and videos sent through the app would disappear within ten seconds, but it turned out they were being saved without users’ knowledge.
If you feel like maybe it is time to leave Facebook for good here are some directions on how to do that.
How to leave facebook.
In many ways, Facebook owns you. When you clicked that little TOS box, (terms of service), you agreed to let Facebook use your content and photos. Now they have done something that I feel is ethically wrong. You and your friends, and followers may of been part of an experiment conducted by manipulating your feeds. Facebook manipulated over 683,000 of it’s users feeds to see how people reacted to either positive or negative posts from their friends. Conducting secret psychology experiment on users’ emotions. You can add this worry to your lack of control and privacy online with Facebook.
The article above is from the Telegraph, UK and it is quite detailed. If you would like to read it, it has what is known as a “paywall” in front of it. The work around for that is open your browser in privacy mode or with Chrome, it is called incognito, so that is a good tip for you today. How to read protected articles online.
Facebook isn’t the only social media site to raise red flags for its handling of information recently. Buzzfeed has been accused of keeping user data gleaned from its popular quizzes, which are often shared on social media networks like Facebook.
Many Facebook users have little understanding of the way their personal data is used by the website, or what other parties may have access to that information. According to a Consumer Reports survey conducted before the experiment was reported, “only 37 percent of Facebook users say they have used the site’s privacy tools to customize how much information apps are allowed to see.”
It has emerged that Facebook first conducted research into the impact of posts on its users’ moods for 1,180 days between January 2009 and March 2012, look at the data of ‘all Facebook users in the 100 most populous US cities’, as reported by The Telegraph earlier this year. This just came out in the last few days. At first FB said it was only for one week! Obviously there is much more going on here than they want to tell the public.
They have manipulated your feeds to conduct a psychology experiment. How do you feel about that? Do you think this is ethical? They are treating their users like rats in a maze. I am not a fan of social media. I have always felt there are too many privacy rights at stake. In 1998 I was going to middle schools and high schools speaking to local PTA’s about online safety and myspace about how to keep your kids safe online. What I saw coming was a carelessness that people were showing by putting all kinds of personal information online. Today I never ceased to be amazed at how much people post online. Parent putting photos of their half naked kids on Instagram, and all social media. Their kids in the bath, in bathing suits and so forth. Bad idea- Mommy bloggers and parents and grandparents. Do you have any idea about the pedophiles and weirdos looking for photos like these of your kids and what they do with those photos? If these people could see that, and the dark world that is very real out there with the sickos, they would never do that again. That is just one aspect to worry about. Next came Google maps, showing photos of our homes, and cars and yards. Then we have all the underage kids using Facebook and very careless with it. They have no idea what they are putting out there and that fact is could haunt them for decades. In addition to the kids meeting older strange men that trolled for them online and so many stories like this today that are frighting. Everyone is responsible for what they put online and how they put out information. Facebook is a good networking tool, but if they are manipulating our communication and feeds with our followers, friends and business contacts, that is violating the spirit of what they do. This experiment was conducted in 2012, and the only reason it came out now, is the study was just published. I find this gravely disturbing. I would love to know how many other studies and what other manipulations have been going on with our Facebook accounts since then? Wouldn’t you? I am sure this was not a one time thing. We are all dollar signs to these social media companies. Now Facebook has share holders to answer too, and they need to make a profit. What do you think? If you are a Facebook user, how do you feel about the fact that it’s possible your posting feeds and your followers and those whom you may follow could be manipulated in this way by the company for research? Please leave a comment below.
Here is another great article I found on how to fix facebook privacy intrusion.
This is creating so much negative publicity that Facebook has a representative talking to the press.
Here is some of what he is saying.
Adam Kramer, Facebook data scientist and co-author of the study, has posted an explanation of the motivation behind the research, which he says serves as Facebook’s statement on the matter.
“The reason we did this research is because we care about the emotional impact of Facebook and the people that use our product,” says Kramer. “We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out. At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook.”
“IN HINDSIGHT, THE RESEARCH BENEFITS OF THE PAPER MAY NOT HAVE JUSTIFIED ALL OF THIS ANXIETY.
Really? Ya think so? Does this statement give you any reassurance about Facebook and what they can do with your information and account? I would like to know how many more of these kind of “experiments” and research have been done since 2012. Because you know there are more. We already know they use our account for all kinds of advertising experiments, and I am sure much more than we know. It will be interesting to see what else comes light after this brouhaha.
Update: 7/4/2014 I have been keeping track of new articles with new viewpoints or that go deeper on this issue all week. This is not one of those stories that is dying down.
Here is a list of stories with good information you may be interested in reading.
If you read a great article about this topic, feel free to leave the link in the comment sections for other to find.