Written byBhavika Bhuwalka ·
The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal highlighted how Cambridge Analytica obtained user data of 50 million people from Facebook without their permission to allegedly help Donald Trump get elected as the US President.
To that end, a movement called #DeleteFacebook started that stood against Facebook's blatant disregard for data privacy and security and aimed to boycott it.
The issue is, will anyone delete Facebook?
Basically, Facebook analyzes and stores all user activity, from reacting to a post to following a page.
This is done so that its algorithm can figure out what kind of ads and news feed to show you. The information is also used to manipulate your emotions.
Such data can be highly misused by corporations, which is essentially what happened in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
To (partially) solve this problem, Ben Grosser, a professor at the University of Illinois, has created a Chrome extension called Go Rando.
It aims to confuse Facebook by randomizing your reactions on a post. Regardless of pressing 'Haha' or 'Sad' on a post, the free tool will balance all your reactions so that Facebook's AI can't make sense of your actual preferences.
"Every time you click "Like", Go Rando randomly chooses one of the six "reactions" for you. Over time, you appear to Facebook as someone whose feelings are emotionally "balanced"- someone who feels Angry as much as Haha or Sad as much as Love," Grosser said.
Misuse of emotional profiles can affect your 'economic future.' "Amazon could use your reactions to feed dynamic pricing. Banks might see "Sad" or "Angry" customers as a higher credit risk. A future employer could use a "Sad" profile to negotiate a lower salary," Grosser explained.
There's another browser extension by Grosser called Demetricator which has been around since 2012 and focuses on what users can do to reduce their Facebook activity.
The tool makes metrics and numbers on Facebook invisible so that users don't get trapped in the vicious circle of 'how many likes my cat video received' or 'how many notifications I have got.'
With the Demetricator, posts become time-stamped with "recently" instead of minutes or hours. "No longer is the focus on how many friends you have or on how much they like your status. Friend counts disappear. '16 people like this' becomes 'people like this'," Grosser said.
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