An Observation

Something just occurred to me, and I haven't seen it discussed anywhere else, so I'm just going to put it here: One of the things about Cambridge Analytica and other bad actors having access to all U.S. users' Facebook data means a treasure trove of information on people's vulnerabilities that can be exploited to extort and turn them.

Anyone who's ever used Facebook messenger to have an affair. Anyone who's got a secret Facebook page to flirt. Anyone who gossips with work colleagues about the boss. Anyone who disclosed anything on Facebook, to what they thought was a closed audience, that could be used against them with their employer, including sexuality, beliefs, illnesses. Anyone who uses Facebook to catfish, or has been embarrassingly catfished, or who has used messenger to talk to a dealer, or arrange any kind of nefarious or criminal activity.

Personal shameful (or stigmatized) behavior has always been used to cultivate or turn assets, and now the record of many people's personal shameful (or stigmatized) behavior is in the hands of any bad actor who pays for it.

Most people won't have to worry, because they aren't prominent enough to matter to bad actors. But anyone with a visible platform, or anyone who works for the government, or a federal subcontractor, or in protected research, or in an industry where corporate espionage is endemic, etc. could be targeted.

This translates into the biggest dataset of asset-turning material in history. Countless Americans who could be convinced to engage in disloyal acts to protect themselves.

And our government doesn't seem to care about this massive vulnerability to national security. Fuck.

[Commenting Note: Please take care not to engage in victim-blaming in this thread. Certainly, different people had different expectations about what they could expect in terms of privacy on social media, but no one "deserves" what has happened to them, simply because they trusted what was private would be kept private. And remember that Facebook has started secret profiles on people who didn't even join the platform, and other people were exposed based on what their friends did, so one's individual personal behavior ultimately had a lot to do with their exposure.]

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