First of all, your social media apps are not listening to you. This is a conspiracy theory. It's been debunked over and over again. But frankly they don't need to because everything else you give them unthinkingly is way cheaper and way more powerful.
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Your apps collect a ton of data from your phone. Your unique device ID. Your location. Your demographics. Weknowdis. Data aggregators pay to pull in data from EVERYWHERE. When I use my discount card at the grocery store? Every purchase? That's a dataset for sale.
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They can match my Harris Teeter purchases to my Twitter account because I gave both those companies my email address and phone number and I agreed to all that data-sharing when I accepted those terms of service and the privacy policy.
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Here's where it gets truly nuts, though. If my phone is regularly in the same GPS location as another phone, they take note of that. They start reconstructing the web of people I'm in regular contact with.
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The advertisers can cross-reference my interests and browsing history and purchase history to those around me. It starts showing ME different ads based on the people AROUND me. Family. Friends. Coworkers.
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It will serve me ads for things I DON'T WANT, but it knows someone I'm in regular contact with might want. To subliminally get me to start a conversation about, I don't know, fucking toothpaste. It never needed to listen to me for this. It's just comparing aggregated metadata.
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The other thing is, this is just out there in the open. Tons of people report on this. It's just, nobody cares. We have decided our privacy just isn't worth it. It's a losing battle. We've already given away too much of ourselves. gimletmedia.com/shows/reply-…
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"We spotted a senior official at the Department of Defense walking through the Women’s March ... His wife was also on the mall that day, something we discovered after tracking him to his home in Virginia." nytimes.com/interactive/2019…
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So. They know my mom's toothpaste. They know I was at my mom's. They know my Twitter. Now I get Twitter ads for mom's toothpaste. Your data isn't just about you. It's about how it can be used against every person you know, and people you don't. To shape behavior unconsciously.
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Apple's latest updates let you block apps' tracking and Facebook is MAD. They're BEGGING you to just press accept and go back to business as usual. Block the fuck out of every app's ads. It's not just about you: your data reshapes the internet. vox.com/recode/22254815/face…
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The internet is never going to be the wacky place it was when I had a Livejournal and people shared protean gifs in the form of YTMNDs. Big business has come to suck the joy (and your dollars) out of it. At least make it hard for them. 🪡

4:05 AM · May 25, 2021

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Oh, this post is my Twitter high score. If you like D&D consider sticking around, my account is 85% tabletop RPG development and 15% leftist politics.
Soon I’m starting playtesting on my first adventure I intend to publish. It’s about a diamond cartel that’s cornered the market on resurrection. Here’s the first piece of art I’ve commissioned, by Andrew Phan. His portfolio is here: artstation.com/droodesigns
Show this thread
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Plug #2: my brother @josephoforb landed a book deal for his Hollywood satire about a failed actor in a superspy franchise who is framed for murder. It is HILARIOUS. James Bond meets Avengers meets Knives Out. Preorder it. It comes out in July. amazon.com/Jove-Brand-Near-D…
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Replying to @RobertGReeve
I miss LJ and YTMND but I've accepted that data sharing and mining is life now. You're right that the best we can do is make it difficult.
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Replying to @RobertGReeve
It's funny because companies basically decided the old way of people happening across things they might be interested in was too inefficient, tech helped them find an alternative, and it's all become so invasive and forceful that I'd rather buy nothing.
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Like sure organic interest and less-directed advertising was way more hit or miss, but the aspect of discovery was actually important and so many brands have simply done away with it. They forget their consumers are human.
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Replying to @RobertGReeve
Fantastic thread. I’ve been posting apt about The Stupid Singularity, and this is the big from which it’s emerging. Also, cryptocurrencies eating all human production so they can do busywork.
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I apologize to anyone reading this tweet. I’m just getting out of teaching and my brain is over.
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We told them in the early 90s, but they wouldn't listen; everyone was sniffing around how to make a profit off stuff :/
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I'm not opposed to companies trying to make a profit on the internet. I'm opposed to their doing it by selling _me_.
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Replying to @RobertGReeve
Out of interest, I found an old set of speakers in our garage and talked to my dad about retrofitting them with a Bluetooth receiver or replacing the internals. We only discussed aloud, but we have an Alexa. I then got ads for speaker parts and Bluetooth receivers for weeks
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