Behavior Modification

The most interesting chapter in Zuboff’s book is the one that talks about behavior modification through surveillance.

Here is an example. Facebook conducted its first very publicized experiment on influencing voter behavior back in 2010. It’s very easy for FB to bring tens of thousands more voters to the polls. Since Facebook knows how you vote, it can easily sway elections by targeting its campaigns that encourage people to vote to certain electoral groups. It doesn’t take that many voters to sway elections. Just ensure that the candidate you like gets a slightly higher turnout and you control the election.

As one of the engineers of these behavior modification systems said, “we write the music and they [the users] dance to it.”

In the meantime, we fret about imaginary Russians messing with the voting machines while Facebook and Co are contentedly messing with our minds.

And I know that the very human thing to do is to believe that everybody but oneself can get brainwashed. People are so invested into convincing themselves that their minds can’t be manipulated that they will disregard all evidence to the contrary.

I have been manipulated and duped and see no shame in acknowledging it. Anybody can be manipulated. It’s quite easy. And it’s the whole endgame of surveillance capitalism.

9 thoughts on “Behavior Modification”

  1. Yep, all that Russian interference was imaginary
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/us/florida-election-hacking-russians-fbi.amp.html
    MIAMI — The governor knows. The state’s congressional delegation knows. The F.B.I. knows. The Russian hackers certainly must know.

    Almost everyone, it seems, has been told which Florida voter registration systems were breached during the 2016 presidential election — except for the voters whose information was targeted.

    Elected leaders in Washington and Tallahassee want to tell them, but they say they can’t. The F.B.I. has kept the information classified, refusing to publicly identify the two counties where Russian hackers had access to voter data that could have allowed them to wreak havoc for voters on Election Day.

    You should get Putin to pay you for doing his work.

    Like

            1. I think your obsession with me us starting to get unhealthy. Maybe you should take a break. Can you do it yourself or are you so addicted that you need help?

              Like

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