Here’s How YOU Can Be Profiled Even If You’ve NEVER Used Social Media

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By Dagny Taggart

The days of having a fully (or even mostly) private life are long gone, it seems, and social media is largely to blame.

Even if you have deactivated all of your social media accounts – or never had any in the first place – your privacy is not guaranteed.

That’s because your privacy on social media is not controlled by you, but by the people around you, according to an alarming new study that, according to one report, “shows that privacy on social media is like second-hand smoke. It’s controlled by the people around you.

Here’s how your behavior can be predicted.

A team of researchers from the University of Vermont and the University of Adelaide wanted to find out if fundamental limits exist when using information from social networks “to predict the activities and interests of individuals, and to what accuracy such predictions can be made using an individual’s social ties.”

This may not sound like a big deal, but think about the worrisome nature of different types of predictive technology. You don’t have to actually be guilty of anything if the tech says that one day you might be. The stuff we’re discussing here takes “guilt by association” to an entirely new level.

Remember the McCarthy era trials when they search for “subversives” started out with just a handful of people but soon every person the initial suspects knew or were in contact with then became suspects themselves? We already know about the ramifications of an internet witch hunt. Now add the tendency of an online mob to try and ruin someone’s life on the basis of an old photo or a 10-second video clip and then loop the whole thing together with YOU becoming a predictable statistic just because of your circle of friends.

It is surprisingly easy to predict a person’s behavior on social media.

The researchers gathered more than thirty million public posts on Twitter from 13,905 users for their study.

Here’s what their analysis revealed:

With this data, they showed that information within the Twitter messages from 8 or 9 of a person’s contacts make it possible to predict that person’s later tweets as accurately as if they were looking directly at that person’s own Twitter feed.

The new study also shows that if a person leaves a social media platform—or never joined—the online posts and words of their friends still provide about 95% of the “potential predictive accuracy,” the scientists write, of a person’s future activities—even without any of that person’s data. (source)

In a press release, lead researcher and University of Vermont mathematician John Bagrow said that when you sign up for Facebook or other social media platforms, “You think you’re giving up your information, but you’re giving up your friends’ information too!”

There’s no way to keep your life private if you are part of a social network.

The implications of the findings are serious, as explained in the press release:

The research raises profound questions about the fundamental nature of privacy—and how, in a highly networked society, a person’s choices and identity are embedded in that network. The new study shows that, at least in theory, a company, government or other actor can accurately profile a person–think political party, favorite products, religious commitments—from their friends, even if they’ve never been on social media or deleted their account. (source)

“There’s no place to hide in a social network,” said study co-author Lewis Mitchell, senior lecturer in applied mathematics at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

There’s a tiny bright spot: the team found that there is a mathematical upper limit on how much predictive information a social network can hold. However…it makes little difference if the person being profiled actually uses that particular network.

“You alone don’t control your privacy on social media platforms,” said Bagrow. “Your friends have a say too.”

Social media platforms are becoming more and more invasive and unethical.

The findings of this study add to the growing body of evidence that social media platforms are engaging in a lot of invasive behavior and in some ways, seem determined to destroy humanity.

There are smaller social media platforms that are growing in popularity, and some claim that they don’t stalk you or sell your data. For more on those options, see The NEW Social Media: Alternatives to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Other Big Tech Platforms.

Even if you and all of the people you know (and the people they know, and so on) have never used social media, remember that if you have a smartphone with any apps, they are tracking you too, and are selling your data to the highest bidders.

There really doesn’t seem to be a way to escape it at this point.

About Dagny

Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of a professional journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.

Here\'s How YOU Can Be Profiled Even If You\'ve NEVER Used Social Media
Dagny Taggart

Dagny Taggart

Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of an experienced journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.

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11 Responses

  1. I have never had a Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram account, which are all owned by Facebook, and the first thing that I did with my phones, was delete all of those apps. Facebook kept hiding apps in various places on my phone which i would constantly delete.

    I don’t believe that twitter or any social media can precdict what a person will tweet or write. I believe that they may predict if someone will like or dislike, or retweet.

    Since these tech companies have no real viable business model, there is a strong motivation for them to exagerate their capabilities, to try to sell them to various governments, universities, research firms, and corporations.

    After all, if they are as great as predicting behavior as they claim that they are, Hillary Clinton would be president.

    1. Since at least half of all Facebook accounts have been revealed to be fake, and I’m sure many Twitter accounts also are, consider the extent that they could skew behavior predictability claims in their favor! They control the fake accounts.

      Thins is a shell game to support their failed business models!

      Such geniuses that they can’t even develope a profitable product! They are con-artists!

  2. Psychopathic shysters like this have been around since the dawn of modern-man, perpetrating complete fraud for guru capabilities in astrology, craniology, palm reading, tea-leave reading, tarot cards, as well as others, fraudulently proclaimng capabilities of divinity, just to extract money from un-witting fools. This is just a high-tech version of the same old confidence trick! Unfortunately, this time it is financed by the government!

  3. How is it that the surveillance guys never manage to reveal the specific identities of all f the hackers that have resulted in scores of enormous data breaches, endangering all of our lives ranging in everything from theft, identity theft, stalking, human trafficking, etc?!

    They predict it will happen, and claim to b able predict every individuals behavior, yet they never reveal the hackers identities.

    We only have been told that they are Russian and Chinese.

    This sounds like either a threat or black mail to me!

    reported by Zero Hedge:
    Alphabet also added new language about software errors: “Bugs or defects in our products and services have occurred and may occur in the future, or our security measures could be breached, resulting in the improper use and/or disclosure of user data,” reads the warning. 
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-06/google-paid-more-eu-fines-taxes-last-year-revenue-threatened-over-data-privacy

    Reported on Zero Hedge

  4. The Bible tells us that in the last days there would be heady, high minded traitors and false accusers that God Himself would punish for all eternity. We live in a world where liars will attempt to get you to agree with them and they will falsely accuse you for doing exactly what they asked you to do. We live in a world full of murderers who hate the truth and with no conscience at all they will steal everything you have if you allow them to do it. And they will claim to be victims while they are committing a crime against someone else. And very often the judicial system will go along with them and prosecute those who are innocent without even bothering to research the issue.

  5. I occasionally feel lucky to be electrosensitive. Never had a cellphone or a social media account. Perhaps a few people talk about me on social media, but very few. I’ve been forced into hermithood and near invisibility.

    I suppose that in itself will make me extra suspicious to the folks trying to control a world quickly spinning out of control. So far so good, though. The ads I get on various sites like this are targeted at a Japanese man with a thing for Russian gals. They haven’t got the first clue about me.

    And the sun still shines.

  6. Even if you do “do Facebook” you still might be on Facebook.

    When a family member died we mourned our loss and then later the next day some of the family went to a restaurant where the round-table photograph was taken and then posted to Facebook. I was in the photograph, so even though I don’t “do Facebook” I am “on Facebook.” Like it or not I am node, a contribution, of that inter-relational dataset should anyone ever need to look at it to connect people, places in things in some distant future or to create some instance or circumstance. And then consider this post: I am commenting about my social media experience on social media IN PUBLIC with which I am adding to the aggregate metadata about the original social media experience, all of which we have been informed is being stored in Utah forever.

    As plebes voluntarily contribute ever more and more data and metadata in real-enough time, and insert enough public experiences into the social medias fast enough they will get locked into what probably will essentially be (if it’s not already) a forward-guidance type of simulation–a time machine, so to write, one with which an occulted preplanned outcome is the person’s destiny.

  7. Patricia, i was wondering how you’ve been ‘forced’ into hermitism? I’m a hermit and a recluse in terms of common social integrations, ie., no family, regular friends, or social internet media. I have a dumb phone, just for emergencies, which i never get calls on except from marketers, or solicitations, or the rare time a neighbor wants to know about something or needs a hand (rural area) I live alone–well, not exactly, i have my pet animals. “I have my books, and my poetry…to protect me”. But i kind of ‘chose’ it for myself. I had enough of that wild fast and intense life in my misspent youth. Hermit or recluse might not be the proper description. Maybe more of a ‘cave-dweller’ lifestyle? But i’m friendly and gregarious on a ‘distance’ level. I talk to a lot of people when i’m out and about running errands.

    And i notice the neighborhood is starting to support more non-mainstream society people, like Amish and solo-retirees in the area lately…

    But the sun doesn’t come up every day…due to chem trails. But mornings are always there.

    1. Mahatma – I get exactly where you’re coming from. The late great Stuart Wilde had a brilliant term for people like us…… ‘Fringe Dwellers’

      1. Rikki,

        I also don’t use social media. I can’t and won’t sit around for hours making up cock and bull stories to tell to my 10,000 closest friends. But the best name for that is a “gray” man. I fly under the radar.

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