Ceux qui croisèrent son chemin et celui de sa monture putride connurent une mort atroce.
A me rappeler pour la prochaine soiree
In real life, in the natural course of conversation, it is not uncommon to talk about a person you may know. You meet someone and say, “I’m from Sarasota,” and they say, “Oh, I have a grandparent in Sarasota,” and they tell you where they live and their name, and you may or may not recognize them.
You might assume Facebook’s friend recommendations would work the same way: You tell the social network who you are, and it tells you who you might know in the online world. But Facebook’s machinery operates on a scale far beyond normal human interactions. And the results of its People You May Know algorithm are anything but obvious. In the months I’ve been writing about PYMK, as Facebook calls it, I’ve heard more than a hundred bewildering anecdotes:
- A man who years ago donated sperm to a couple, secretly, so they could have a child—only to have Facebook recommend the child as a person he should know. He still knows the couple but is not friends with them on Facebook.
- A social worker whose client called her by her nickname on their second visit, because she’d shown up in his People You May Know, despite their not having exchanged contact information.
- A woman whose father left her family when she was six years old—and saw his then-mistress suggested to her as a Facebook friend 40 years later.
- An attorney who wrote: “I deleted Facebook after it recommended as PYMK a man who was defense counsel on one of my cases. We had only communicated through my work email, which is not connected to my Facebook, which convinced me Facebook was scanning my work email.”
Connections like these seem inexplicable if you assume Facebook only knows what you’ve told it about yourself. They’re less mysterious if you know about the other file Facebook keeps on you—one that you can’t see or control.
Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users.
Shadow contact information has been a known feature of Facebook for a few years now. But most users remain unaware of its reach and power. Because shadow-profile connections happen inside Facebook’s algorithmic black box, people can’t see how deep the data-mining of their lives truly is, until an uncanny recommendation pops up.
Facebook isn’t scanning the work email of the attorney above. But it likely has her work email address on file, even if she never gave it to Facebook herself. If anyone who has the lawyer’s address in their contacts has chosen to share it with Facebook, the company can link her to anyone else who has it, such as the defense counsel in one of her cases.
Facebook will not confirm how it makes specific People You May Know connections, and a Facebook spokesperson suggested that there could be other plausible explanations for most of those examples—“mutual friendships,” or people being “in the same city/network.” The spokesperson did say that of the stories on the list, the lawyer was the likeliest case for a shadow-profile connection.
Handing over address books is one of the first steps Facebook asks people to take when they initially sign up, so that they can “Find Friends.” The “Find Friends” option on desktop is very basic:
The “Find Friends” page in the Facebook smartphone app is more inviting, presenting a picture of a spray of flowers and inviting the user to “See who’s on Facebook by continuously uploading your contacts.”
Down in the fine print, below the “Get Started” button, the page states that “Info about your contacts...will be sent to Facebook to help you and others find friends faster.” This is vague, and the purpose remains vague even after you click on “Learn More”:
When you choose to find friends on Facebook, we’ll use and securely store information about your contacts, including things like names and any nicknames; contact photo; phone numbers and other contact or related information you may have added like relation or profession; as well as data on your phone about those contacts. This helps Facebook make recommendation for you and others, and helps us provide a better service.
Take a look at all the possible information associated with a contact on your phone. Then consider the accumulated data your phone is carrying about various people, whether lifelong friends or passing acquaintances.
Facebook warns users to be judicious about using all this data. “You may have business or personal contacts in your phone,” the Learn More screen admonishes the reader. “Please only send friend requests to people you know personally who would welcome the invite.”
Having issued this warning, and having acknowledged that people in your address book may not necessarily want to be connected to you, Facebook will then do exactly what it warned you not to do. If you agree to share your contacts, every piece of contact data you possess will go to Facebook, and the network will then use it to try to search for connections between everyone you know, no matter how slightly—and you won’t see it happen.
Facebook doesn’t like, and doesn’t use, the term “shadow profiles.” It doesn’t like the term because it sounds like Facebook creates hidden profiles for people who haven’t joined the network, which Facebook says it doesn’t do. The existence of shadow contact information came to light in 2013 after Facebook admitted it had discovered and fixed “a bug.” The bug was that when a user downloaded their Facebook file, it included not just their friends’ visible contact information, but also their friends’ shadow contact information.
The problem with the bug, for Facebook, was not that all the information was lumped together—it was that it had mistakenly shown users the lump existed. The extent of the connections Facebook builds around its users is supposed to be visible only to the company itself.
Facebook does what it can to underplay how much data it gathers through contacts, and how widely it casts its net. “People You May Know suggestions may be based on contact information we receive from people and their friends,” Facebook spokesperson Matt Steinfeld wrote in an email. “Sometimes this means that a friend or someone you know might upload contact information—like an email address or phone number—that we associate with you. This and other signals from you help us to make sure that the people we suggest are those you likely already know and want to become friends with on Facebook.”
Users of Instagram and WhatsApp, which are owned by Facebook, can also upload contacts to those apps, but Steinfeld said that Facebook does not currently use that data for Facebook friend suggestions. “Today, we use contacts uploaded to Facebook and Messenger to inform PYMK suggestions,” he wrote.
This post was produced by the Special Projects Desk of Gizmodo Media. Reach our team by phone, text, Signal, or WhatsApp at (917) 999-6143, email us at email@example.com, or contact us securely using SecureDrop.
Through the course of reporting this story, I discovered that many of my own friends had uploaded their contacts. While encouraging me to do the same, Facebook’s smartphone app told me that 272 of my friends have already done so. That’s a quarter of all my friends.
But big as it is, that’s not even the relevant number. When Steinfeld wrote “a friend or someone you might know,” he meant anyone—any person who might at some point have labeled your phone number or email or address in their own contacts. A one-night stand from 2008, a person you got a couch from on Craiglist in 2010, a landlord from 2013: If they ever put you in their phone, or you put them in yours, Facebook could log the connection if either party were to upload their contacts.
That accumulation of contact data from hundreds of people means that Facebook probably knows every address you’ve ever lived at, every email address you’ve ever used, every landline and cell phone number you’ve ever been associated with, all of your nicknames, any social network profiles associated with you, all your former instant message accounts, and anything else someone might have added about you to their phone book.
As far as Facebook is concerned, none of that even counts as your own information. It belongs to the users who’ve uploaded it, and they’re the only ones with any control over it.All the people who know you and who choose to share their contacts with Facebook are making it easier for Facebook to make connections you may not want it to make.
It’s what the sociologist danah boyd calls “networked privacy”: All the people who know you and who choose to share their contacts with Facebook are making it easier for Facebook to make connections you may not want it to make—say if you’re in a profession like law, medicine, social work, or even journalism, where you might not want to be connected to people you encounter at work, because of what it could reveal about them or you, or because you may not have had a friendly encounter with them.
Imagine the challenge for people trying to maintain two different identities, such as sex workers or undercover investigators. Not only do you have to keep those identities apart like a security professional, you have to make sure that no one else links them either. If just one person you know has contact information for both identities and gives Facebook access to it, your worlds collide. Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent would be screwed.
Shadow profile data powers Facebook’s effort to connect as many people as possible, in as many ways as possible. The company’s ability to perceive the threads connecting its billion-plus users around the globe led it to announce last year that it’s not six degrees that separate one person from another—it’s just three and a half.
With its vast, hidden black book, Facebook can go beyond simply matching you directly with someone else who has your contact information. The network can do contact chaining—if two different people both have an email address or phone number for you in their contact information, that indicates that they could possibly know each other, too. It doesn’t even have to be an address or phone number that you personally told Facebook about.
This is how a psychiatrist’s patients were recommended to one another and may be why a man had his secret biological daughter recommended to him. (He and she would have her parents’ contact information in common.) And it may explain why a non-Facebook user had his ex-wife recommended to his girlfriend. Facebook doesn’t keep profiles for non-users, but it does use their contact information to connect people.
“Mobile phone numbers are even better than social security numbers for identifying people,” said security technologist Bruce Schneier by email. “People give them out all the time, and they’re strongly linked to identity.”“Mobile phone numbers are even better than social security numbers for identifying people.”
Facebook won’t tell you how many people who aren’t your friends have handed over your contact information. The contents of your shadow profiles are not yours to see.
As Violet Blue wrote in Cnet at the time of the shadow-profile bug, “What the revelation means is that Facebook has much more information on us than we know, it may not be accurate, and despite everyone’s best efforts to keep Facebook from knowing our phone numbers or work email address, the social network is getting our not-for-sharing numbers and email addresses anyway by stealing them (albeit through ‘legitimate’ means) from our friends.”
What if you don’t like Facebook having this data about you? All you need to do is find every person who’s ever gotten your contact information and uploaded it to Facebook, and then ask them one by one to go to Facebook’s contact management page and delete it.
Just don’t miss anyone. “Once a contact is deleted, we remove it from our system—but of course it is possible that the same contact has been uploaded by someone else,” Steinfeld wrote in an email.
The shadow profiles, like the People You May Know system they feed into, can’t be turned off or opted out of. The one thing you can do to impede Facebook’s contacts-based connections is, through its Privacy Settings menu, keep people from finding your profile by searching your phone number or email address. (Yes, Facebook functions as a reverse phone-number look-up service; under the default settings, anyone can put your phone number into the search bar and pull up your account.)
“Let’s say you’ve shared your phone number [or email address] with a lot of people and don’t want strangers using it to search for you on Facebook,” Steinfeld wrote. “You can limit who can look you up on Facebook by that phone number [or email address] to ‘friends.’ This is also a signal that People You May Know uses. So if a stranger uploads his address book including that phone number [or email address, it] won’t be used to suggest you to that stranger in People You May Know.”
But you can only block People You May Know from using information you’ve actively provided to Facebook, not what’s in your shadow profile. So to protect your privacy, you need to provide Facebook with even more information about you.
I asked if Facebook would consider sharing shadow profile information with its users, much like it accidentally shared it with their friends four years ago. Facebook says it can’t because it would be a privacy violation of those who gave the information.
“When you choose to upload your contacts to Facebook, we consider your privacy along with the privacy of the friends, family, and others who gave you their phone number or email address,” said Facebook spokesperson Matt Steinfeld by email. “We acknowledge that people might want to see the contact information that’s been uploaded about them to Facebook, but we also have a responsibility to the people choosing to upload this information. This is a balance and we’ll continue listening to people’s feedback.”
Steinfeld also said that while Facebook doesn’t currently “offer a way for people to manage the contact information others have uploaded that might be related to them, this is something I’ve shared with the team.”
As usual, I asked to speak with the People You May Know team directly, but was turned down.
Ceci est un mugshot d'une personne très indécise au niveau capillaire.
Comme quoi les vieux cons sont pas forcement les plus cons
- Poll finds attitude to ban on military-style weapons has striking age divide
- Experts say finding could be driven by video games such as Call of Duty
Resistance to a ban on military-style assault weapons is strongest among millennials, according to a new Quinnipiac poll released this week. It’s a finding that experts said might be driven by the popularity of first-person shooter video games such as Call of Duty and the increasing prominence of military-style guns in the consumer market.Continue reading...
Y a-t-il plus beau sentiment que la joie maligne de voir les anciens types cool de sa fac transformés en adultes incroyablement boring ?
Quand la photographe Josephine Sittenfeld étudiait à Princeton, elle a réalisé des portraits de ses petits camarades biens mis d'Ivy League pour les exposer sur le campus, avant de les ranger dans une vieille boîte à chaussure au fond d'un placard chez ses parents. Quinze ans plus tard, la série lui revient en mémoire alors qu’elle est invitée à une sordide réunion des anciens élèves. Elle décide alors de récupérer ces clichés et de faire poser à nouveau ses potes d'antan dans les mêmes lieux et avec les mêmes poses, pour documenter les ravages du temps qui passe. Arrivée des premiers cheveux blancs, des porte-bébés kangourou et des chaussures de randonnée - voici quelques unes de ses belles photos.
Tenley et Ryan.
Craig, Denise, Amy et Jess.
Et au septième jour, Dieu acheva son oeuvre, puis se tapa un bon gros buvard de LSD, et se dit qu'en fait il manquait encore un animal à sa création
The nation’s largest bribery scandal is playing out in real time, a brazen act of collaboration between government and a powerful corporation. This epidemic spans across cities large and small, in red states and blue states, in rural communities and established metropolises; it’s also happening in Washington, D.C., but incredibly doesn’t involve Donald Trump. Thousands of public officials are implicated, and they haven’t been particularly quiet about it. In fact, many of the attempted bribes are on video.
We won’t see a flurry of public corruption trials in this case, because the bribery has become accepted as a normal part of economic development. But the embarrassing orgy of corporate welfare directed recently at Amazon, for the privilege of hosting its new corporate headquarters, ought to be illegal. It’s a shakedown by a $500-billion company that’s pitting communities—out of desperation for jobs or prestige—against one another in a bleak competition. The gambit doesn’t even deliver the promised boon for localities, but officials have been so seduced by bad economics and threats of abandonment that paying corporate tithes has become a leading government service.
Earlier this fall, Amazon announced it would build a second headquarters (known as HQ2) and asked cities to submit requests for proposal. Amazon promised $5 billion in capital expenditures from the project, and that the headquarters would host 50,000 workers making an average of more than $100,000 per year.
Like any company, Amazon had preferences for a new location: a large population center with high quality of life, an educated labor force, and access to airport, highway, and mass transit infrastructure. But Amazon also told cities, “A stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure will be high-priority considerations for the Project. Incentives offered by the state/province and local communities to offset initial capital outlay and ongoing operational costs will be significant factors in the decision-making process.” The RFP spells out the incentives Amazon wants: tax abatements, land grants, workforce training funds, sales tax exemptions, permitting waivers, or fee reductions.
“As this is a competitive Project,” the RFP concludes, “Amazon welcomes the opportunity to engage with you in the creation of an incentive package, real estate opportunities, and cost structure to encourage the company’s location of the Project in your state/province.”
I don’t know how to describe this corporate-speak as anything other than a bribe. And Amazon is no stranger to seeking such tribute. Good Jobs First, an organization which tracks corporate subsidies, estimated last December that Amazon has received $854 million in awards for building distribution facilities nationwide since 2005. Amazon even hired a dedicated specialist, Michael Grella, to chase economic development incentives.
At first, Amazon framed the bribes as a bargain. The company developed its dominance in online retail by neglecting to collect local sales tax, keeping prices well below brick-and-mortar competitors. Amazon argued it could avoid sales tax if it held no physical presence in the state or locality. When states attacked the “Amazon loophole,” the company switched tactics, offering to collect local sales tax and place a fulfillment center in a particular state—as long as they won subsidies. Amazon had to build hundreds of warehouses to meet the promise of same-day Prime delivery anywhere in the U.S., and sales tax collection was rapidly becoming a legislative requirement. But cities and states paid the bribe anyway.
Amazon announced on Monday that it had received 238 proposals for HQ2, most of them U.S. cities and states promising fistfuls of cash. Worcester, Massachusetts offered a $500 million package that included 100 percent property tax exemptions for the headquarters’ employees. Philadelphia’s price tag was $2 billion. A developer in Irvine, California said he’d pay the entire $5 billion in construction costs himself. Newark, New Jersey upped the ante to $7 billion in tax benefits. Some cities, like Washington, created cringe-worthy promotional videos and performed publicity-seeking stunts. Stonecrest, Georgia tried to one-up all applicants by offering to create a 345-acre city in Amazon’s name.
Is it worth it to lavish Amazon with billions? Most existing studies argue that the short-term political benefit of “bringing jobs” to a region gets offset by a shrinking tax base and a questionable impact on overall economic development. Good Jobs First found in 2013 that corporate subsidies had “microscopic effects on state economies.” They’re worse than a zero-sum game between metropolitan areas; they’re net-negative, because the corporation extracts the subsidy while cities lose revenue that would otherwise go to education or infrastructure investment to benefit the common good.
It’s also not worth it because, as San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg wrote in his letter declining to submit an Amazon proposal, “it’s hard to imagine that a forward-thinking company like Amazon hasn’t already selected its preferred location.” Thus, the public bidding war is just a ploy to squeeze out additional subsidies, to play cities off one another. “Blindly giving away the farm isn’t our style,” Nirenberg wrote.
The bribes for Amazon mirror the ones offered to other corporations (like the $3 billion Wisconsin just gave to Foxconn for a proposed manufacturing site), or sports teams who will only stay in cities with a publicly funded new stadium. This blackmail, as much as $80 billion a year transferred from local government to corporate treasuries, must end. That starts by telling the truth about these “incentives.”
Mark Funkhouser, the former mayor of Kansas City, proposed a solution in 2013. “We need a national law that prohibits corporations from extracting bribes from state and local governments and bans governments from donating tax dollars to private entities—a sort of domestic equivalent of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies from bribing foreign governments,” he wrote.
“Some will argue that such a law would damage America’s global competitiveness and drive companies to outsource even more of their work abroad. I think that, on balance, this is not so. America is a magnet for global talent because of the quality of life offered here, and current economic trends are damaging to that quality of life.”
Here’s an alternative solution: Means-testing for economic incentives. No wealthy American would ever be allowed to benefit from targeted government subsidies in means-tested programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Yet we constantly give taxpayer-funded incentives to corporations with virtually limitless cash reserves. Those incentives should be reserved for startups and young companies, helping to diversify the economy and perhaps even nurturing an Amazon competitor.
Amazon’s angling for government handouts flows directly from its dominance. As the economy consolidates in every sector, with fewer and fewer companies earning the spoils, cities must chase dwindling prospects for headline-grabbing corporate relocations. Projects like HQ2 become a holy grail, the one development that will turn the city around, and officials stop at nothing to attract them. But this is like panning for fool’s gold, and it breeds an intolerable corruption of tax dollars. Congress should ban the practice, and corporate behemoths should get used to paying their own way.
Touche pas a mon saucisson!
Reflecting on my time with Dublin theatre titan Michael Colgan, I realise power can be wielded with kindness as well as less subtly
This post-Weinstein moment is, as the feminist writer Rebecca Traister has remarked, “some renegade ’70s-era feminist shit going on. I’ve never lived through anything like it.” Me neither. We’re watching goliaths fall, battalions of women with slingshots firing back – finally. And there’s a pleasure in watching the colossus stumble, isn’t there? Take him down, ladies, I thought as the allegations against Harvey Weinstein mounted; sing it, I cheered, as women shared stories of theatre director Max Stafford-Clark; likewise as young men came forward to confront Kevin Spacey.
Michael Colgan ran Dublin’s Gate theatre for 33 years and was, until his retirement last year, probably the most powerful man in Irish theatre. Now he’s facing allegations of sexual harassment and bullying from women in the Irish arts. He is accused of frequent inappropriate touching and sexualised comments. In an article published on Sunday, he apologised to anyone he might have hurt, while also casting the alleged harassment – unhelpfully, some victims feel – as a failure to distinguish between his personal and professional life.Continue reading...
Pedobear s'est réincarné en paquet de lingettes pour bébé.
Eh ben qu'est-ce qu'y a la pleureuse elle a encore perdu une phalange c'est ça ? Allez tout le monde on se reconcentre
Pour ses 50 ans, le New York Mag publie une sélection de courriers de ses lecteurs. Hey Carolin, on t'a grillé.
Bel exercice de gonzo-data-journalisme par ce journaliste de Slate.com qui a noté chaque jour à quelle heure son bébé de 15 mois a poussé son premier cri matinal et à quelle heure Donad Trump a lâché son premier tweet.