Thursday, October 04, 2018 by Jayson Veley
Facebook really needs to get its priorities straight. While the social media giant seems to be completely intolerant towards “hatred” and “fake news” (even though we have reason to believe that it’s really just conservatism that they hate more than anything else), they are apparently perfectly fine with judging you based on your wealth. It’s just business, after all. Right?
According to a report published by the Daily Mail earlier this month, Facebook has filed a patent for and may soon be rolling out a system that collects users’ personal data, such as information regarding their education, homeownership and the amount of time spent on the Internet, in order to estimate their socioeconomic status. In other words, Facebook wants to know how much money you make so that it can expose you to more relevant advertisements – big brother just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
The patent for this rather invasive system was filed on July 27, 2016, but was just made public on February 1st.
The Daily Mail went into detail on how this system would work if it were ever to be implemented, explaining that “a decision tree starts by asking what the user’s age is and, from there, asks a question that would be seemingly relevant to that user’s age group.” In addition, people between the ages of 20 and 30 years old “are asked how many internet devices they own” and those between 30 and 40 “are asked whether or not they own a house.”
Other information that Facebook will gather in order to estimate the socioeconomic status of its users includes a person’s travel history, what kinds of technological devices the user owns, how many of those devices are connected to the Internet, and what their highest level of education is.
Facebook has acknowledged, however, that many of their users may not feel very comfortable having their personal information collected, including information regarding how much money they make per year. “Online systems often do not have information about the income of users, for example, because the users are typically not inclined to share income information, which may be sensitive information, on online systems,” the patent states.
So instead, Facebook is taking a backdoor approach. Instead of asking users questions specifically related to income, they are using other personal data to reach their own conclusions. (Related: A former Facebook executive has stated that social media is ripping society apart.)
“By predicting the socioeconomic groups of users, [Facebook] is able to help the third party present sponsored content to the target users,” the patent says, adding, “Third parties are able to effectively promote their products or services, and the online system can provide a more engaging user experience to users.”
So, in other words, Facebook doesn’t see anything wrong with violating the privacy rights of its users and acquiring personal information regarding their socioeconomic status, but when it comes to conservative points of view, Mark Zuckerberg and his team are completely intolerant. Take 62-year-old Allen Muench of St. Louis, Missouri, for example, who claims that Facebook suspended or otherwise censored him on multiple separate occasions since the 2016 presidential election for posting conservative content. (Related: Facebook censors Natural News from users that want it, but won’t allow you to block Mark Zuckerberg’s feed.)
Specifically, Muench explained that he spends much of his time running a conservative Facebook page, where he posts a variety of memes and articles that are often in support of President Donald Trump or critical of liberals. However, over the past year, Muench has seen Facebook limit or even completely cut off his access to the social media site, which Muench says is because Facebook enforces their Community Standards policy more on conservatives than liberals.
Of course, this is just one example out of dozens. It’s unfortunate, but it certainly appears as though Facebook believes it’s okay to judge people based on their wealth, but using the platform to spread conservative messages is completely unacceptable.