Interview for Taz.die Tageszeitung (Germany)
about "Face to Facebook
Is Facebook bad?
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Paolo Cirio: The problem with Facebook is that it's not regulated at all. Since it's supposed to be a service for the people, it must be redesigned democratically. Moreover, its users need to be educated and informed about its dangers.
Facebook has shown itself to be very aggressive, when we tried to "liberate" a few data from their servers. It just showed us how they are convinced they have the right to own the data of their users, hide their intrinsic vulnerability and suppress critics and competitors.
The problem with giving away our personal data to private companies is that we will never have it back and it's impossible avoiding its misuse by third parties, since it became tradable among several firms.
Facebook has the biometrical facial measures of its users, and they can be sold off and traded just as a commodity. We are not far from the day that other companies can track Facebook's users in shopping centers.
There is no democracy when one company led by one person can hold and pretend to own the data of more than 800 hundred million people from all over the world.
Facebook takes advantage of the centralization of all the data in California. In fact, there aren't really Facebook branches in Europe (only representative offices to evade US taxes) in order to circumnavigate the European countries' privacy laws. Moreover, Facebook recently formed a Political Action Committee to lobby against privacy laws in United States.
Facebook renders perfectly visible the idea of the "power of information". In an era where information plays a major role in geopolitics, I would say that Facebook became the intercontinental weapons system of today.
Facebook is not just a device to study marketing trends, and to manipulate them, but it's an effective way to monitor allegedly criminal activity, political unrest and even to potentially drive them.
In most counties, police have agreements with Facebook. Now they can break into anyone's Facebook account without obtaining a court 's permission. This means horrible consequences of political repression in countries where democracy is under attack, like Italy for instance .
All the accusations leveled against controlled TV monopolized networks in the past, now can be applied to private social networks platforms: they inform and build social identities, but they are also prone to social control, censorship and subjugation. Media, in general, are tools to communicate broadly which can be used for the benefit of humanity. However they are always at risk of becoming monopolized by structures of power.