Willing and easy to manipulate

News 24 March, 2018
  • Photo AFP

    Mario Dumont

    Saturday, march 24, 2018 05:00

    Saturday, march 24, 2018 05:00

    Look at this article

    Facebook is to blame for not having managed our information in a manner consistent with its commitments. The president and Zuckerberg apologizes, the financial markets are concerned about the business model, the action is drop, all of this is normal.

    But from our side, as citizens, is it enough to look to Facebook and whine ? It seems to me that it is not. Take responsibility, damn it !

    I am struck by how much the users are naive and unaware of the nature of these social networks. Some users seem to believe that Facebook is a humanitarian who sacrifices to put you in touch with your friends.

    Anyone who uses Facebook should have a minimal understanding of the business model of this company. Facebook offers you a platform to share… and talk to you. In exchange, Facebook monte a mégadossier on you and will make its money by selling this gold mine of information.

    Gold Mine ?

    You think you’re a good person and ordinary ? Information about you are worth nothing ? You may be wondering what Facebook may well find there ? Answer : the stock of Facebook has increased from $ 25 to $ 185 in five years. This value is based on the number of subscribers and the quality of information compiled.

    This is worth a fortune in the marketing of the 2000s. The company’s mowers are ready to pay expensive to target its ads to the people who have a grassed field. She would have to pay even more to target people who are looking for just a lawn mower this week.

    A company of electric clippers would pay big for a list of people who are looking for a mower this week AND who are concerned about the environment. This is the kind of profiles that build social networks. The organizers of the elections, such as those of Donald Trump, can also see the interest to know the psychological profile, priorities and biases of voters.

    Of course, nobody takes the time to read the paragraphs in small print by subscribing. But it should at least be pretty switched on to understand the basic contract. You provide me a social network and, in exchange, I will provide you with a river of personal info. Aware of this, I protect myself by putting my limit to what I share. Elementary !


    Let’s go back to the political parties. The marketing that I would describe as normal is to target people by providing them with information on topics that are of interest. No problem with that.

    By contrast, the marketing extreme is to target people at the point of manipulate their vote by presenting them with negative publicity, a photo, or even a false news, knowing that it makes them react.

    In the political field, we say that for such a citizen, if one weighs in on the “good” button, we switch his or her vote. This is based on the fact that some citizens are easily manipulated.

    Instead of whining, try to be a person sufficiently knowledgeable and with a critical sense not to be as sadly manipulable !