Now out of control, we all created the social media monster.



Google and Facebook Thrive Off of Our Own Indiscretions (El Tiempo, Colombia)


"With some reluctance, because nobody likes to be spied on, and less, be used by companies that could benefit economically from our indiscretions, I think we have to admit that it is the propensity for voyeurism and exhibitionism in us all that provokes the ambition of Google and Facebook. We ourselves have given our personal information, allowing whoever enables our conversations with our group of friends to use it to recoup their investment, pay their expenses, and incidentally, earn a fortune."


By Sergio Muņoz Bata



Translated By Seren Moore


October 18, 2013


Colombia - El Tiempo - Original Article (Spanish)

What can you do to prevent your data from being distributed for the benefit of others? Not much.


TED VIDEO: What FACEBOOK and GOOGLE are hiding from the world, Sept. 14, 2011, 00:09:05RealVideo

If you've ever told friends on one of the social networks that dinner at a certain restaurant was excellent, or have recommended a song and haven't quit using Google Plus before November 11 [after that date, Google Plus will begin posting the faces of users with ads], it should come as no surprise the next time you see your photo and comments sponsoring the restaurant you innocently recommended to your friends. Facebook has been doing something like this for some time.


Both Google and Facebook know that advertisers want to learn more about the tastes and preferences of social network users, and neither dislikes the idea of making money. The problem, however, is that this is a breach of trust, because when a person expresses their preferences or shares personal information, they don't do it so someone else can make money.


The topic reminded me that not that long ago, people in the United States assigned special importance to so-called "privacy." Thirty years ago, Spanish writer Alfonso Sastre came to California. While walking the woodland trails of his apartment complex, he said someone told him that the overall design was due to a desire to preserve the "privacy" of people in their apartments. "What's all this about privacy?," I asked. "The word privacy," I insisted, "doesn't exist in the Spanish language."


A few years after Sastre's visit to California, I felt the American Zeitgeist had changed, and had done so radically since Oprah Winfrey's first TV show. Oprah turned television into a confessional, where guests bared their souls before an applauding audience moved by their stories.

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Later, as often happens, the exposure of painful personal experience Winfrey had patented was turned to farce by the vulgarity of a host named Jerry Springer, who succeeded in getting his guests to bare not only their souls, but to publically expose their worst perversions. It was a TV model that was soon imitated by a despicable Peruvian host who seemed like she had escaped a Dostoevsky novel, and who, in her time on television, revealed the miseries of a handful of desperate people before of a Spanish-speaking audience.


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So with some reluctance, because nobody likes to be spied on, and less, be used by companies that could benefit economically from our indiscretions, I think we have to admit that it is the propensity for voyeurism and exhibitionism in us all that provokes the ambition of Google and Facebook. We ourselves have given our personal information, allowing whoever enables our conversations with our group of friends to use it to recoup their investment, pay their expenses, and incidentally, earn a fortune.


On the other hand, I cannot help but question the dubious value of a recommendation for a restaurant made by an illustrious stranger. To whom but to your own group of friends, could matter that Juan Pueblo has offered mass on a restaurant in your neighborhood? However, if what Google and Facebook are doing or plan to do seems wrong to you, your first option is to leave both. Use Google without identifying yourself and remove your photos and data from Facebook. It will be of little service to you, however, because the problem is that the more technology advances, the less we'll be able to escape it, unless we give up talking on our cell phones, surfing the Internet, reading books on Kindles, playing with iPads, or viewing maps on GPS navigation systems.


Orwell's Big Brother is here to stay.


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Posted By Worldmeets.US Oct. 18, 2013, 11:29am