By Candace Salima, regular contributor to US Daily Review
I was happily researching my article comparing Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, posting funny things I found on Facebook in the process. It was interesting as I was digging up sources, finding quotes, videos, etc. until a post showed up immediately on my FB profile, stating the following:
Everything we post on Facebook goes to the Obama 2012 page. Facebook is putting our posts on Barack Obama’s page any time you mention his name in your update. We have to stop this!
I have to be honest, I didn’t believe her, or rather, thought she was mistaken. But I clicked on the link, it took me to Barack Obama’s page where 23,300,179 sorely mistaken people have “Liked” his page. I didn’t see anything but posts by the Obama Campaign at first, but when it defaulted to the “Friends Activity” section, I scrolled down and sure enough, every one of my updates mentioning Barack Obama were showing up right there.
I do believe my blood pressure shot straight through the roof at that point. Yes, Facebook is a private company. Yes, they’ve been making a lot of changes. Yes, they are trying to compete with Google+. But never, ever, did I imagine that Zuckerberg would think data mining Facebook users updates was a good idea.
My nephew is a police officer, so I mentioned it to him because I was so mad. He said he thought it could be a national security issue, and then asked me if the same thing was happening to Mitt Romney’s page. So I began investigating and found that yes, all post relating to Obama or any of the presidential candidates are now being routed to the “Friend Activity” portion of that candidate’s page. In fact ALL pages on Facebook now have this option, and it cannot be removed by the administrator, or at least I couldn’t remove it from mine. For television shows, movies, businesses, etc. I can see why it might be a good thing, for them. But the thought that our updates are being data mined toward particular pages, no longer just for our Facebook friends alone, is unsettling to me.
So here’s my question. To what end? Why did Mark Zuckerberg feel it necessary to initiate this particular change? I really have to ask, is this the direction the Obama Administration is taking us? Is this an end result of the President’s new internet power, big brother run amuck as it were, or is it just Zuckerberg making a really bad business decision? Either Facebook users will continue to post what they want, when they want, or they will become so intimidated by the sudden national exposure of their Facebook posts, they will stop using Facebook altogether.