Press "Enter" to skip to content

Month: March 2018


The sense of violation is almost palpable.  What we have suspected – what some of us have warned of – for many years, is now transparently true, and on the pages of newspapers around the world: Facebook has not just been using us, it has been abusing us.  As I said in 2011, we have surrendered ‘our personal data and the conduct of our friendships and (online) social ties to their marketplace’ and they have made their money off our backs.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, broken by The Guardian following the extraordinary investigative journalism of Carole Cadwalladr, is opening up a can of worms for Mark Zuckerberg, who, after several days of complete silence, has finally, tersely, admitted that Facebook has been guilty of a ‘breach of trust’ – though it is clearly a ‘scandal of Facebook’s own making.’

Gathering momentum – though there is no way of telling yet how successful it will be – is a movement to #deleteFacebook.  With the aid of a Chrome browser extension, all the posts of the past years can be deleted from one’s account, (although the script takes a few hours to run).  Thus, although the profiling already achieved on the data already given to Facebook cannot be undone, that data can be withdrawn so that it can no longer be used, and one’s account no longer logged into, no longer used, eventually (after their 90day delay) completely deleted.  There are plenty of other means of sharing online – with our privacy intact.  Facebook has breached our trust, and does not deserve our data any more – if it ever did.

In a matter of a week or two, the four-week diary studies for this project will begin, and one question we will be asking our participants is simply this: “How do you feel about the way Facebook tricked you into feeling safe about giving up all your data to it? How do you feel about how they then used it underhandedly to make money out of you, and to allow others to use your data for electoral manipulation? How do you feel about how they have handled the fallout from these revelations? Have you deleted your Facebook posts, or your account?”

Leave a Comment

‘Infomateriality’ at EASST2018

EASTT logo‘Infomateriality’: Whitehead and Digital Experience amongst the Over 65s

by David Kreps and Jessica Muirhead
This first conference paper from the project will be presented at the forthcoming EAST2018 Conference, “MEETINGS – MAKING SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY TOGETHER”, in the panel on ‘Assembly, silence and dissent in the design and use of gerontechnologies‘.
Short abstract:
Older generations’ experience has been more visceral than today’s infoworld. Using Whitehead’s process philosophy, and findings from four-week diary studies with over65s and under25s, we consider modes of importance, expression and understanding to reconceive contemporary infomateriality.
Long abstract:
Baby boomers’, and older generations’ life experience has been more visceral than the disintermediated information world populated by agile young minds today. How do hands that have wielded industrial tools engage with the haptic gestures deployed with masterful finesse by those who grew up with a smartphone? What challenge do the invisible actants of the virtual present to those whose mastery was gained over a more mechanical world? What can we discern in the differences in self-concept between today’s over65s and under25s that are reflective of the technological revolution between?
Leave a Comment