Facebook & The COMPLETE Social Graph

The World’s Facebook Relationships Visualized

Facebook recently passed:

  • 2 billion monthly users.
  • That’s~70% of the 2.8 billion Internet users living outside of China/Russia (they use a different social networking system).
  • With slowing rates of growth for Facebook and the Internet (due to saturation), Facebook is likely to hit 3.5 billion monthly users by 2025.

The Complete Social Graph

At 3.5 billion users in 2025, Facebook’s social network will be more than half of the 6.5 billion people living outside of China/Russia. That’s a network that is large enough and deep enough to:

  • create a global census that can “see” nearly everyone on the planet , even if they don’t have a Facebook account.
  • enable real-time tracking on nearly everyone on the planet using smartphone GPS data and ancillary information (mentions of location/who you are with/pictures).
  • create the largest micro-targeting database on earth, from pictures to posted links to likes. Details on the interests and desires of billions of people.

What Does Facebook do with a Complete Social Graph?

The simple and straightforward answer is to build a very profitable advertising platform. However, the success of that advertising platform will be based on the ability of Facebook to avoid intrusive government regulation. To accomplish that, Facebook will develop services it can provide governments to better secure, control, and manage their citizens in a volatile global environment. In exchange for these services, Facebook will avoid regulations that will limit their ability to make money. Here’s more detail on the services it could provide:

  • Surveillance. The ability to ID anyone using facial recognition AIs (trained on the trillions of photos uploaded to the platform) and then track their movements globally. Border security and access control (buildings and government services). Tracking movement domestically (from CCTVs to Fastlane pics).
  • Censorship. The ability to limit domestic political conversations to those approved by the government. As the primary source of news in nearly country (outside of China), Facebook has the ability to limit sources to approved channels, prevent the discussion of banned topics, and steer conversations in subtle ways.
  • Counter-terrorism. Facebook will peer into private conversations and do the network analysis to ID potential extremists. It will also actively sabotage or intervene in terrorist/extremist recruiting networks to damage their effectiveness in securing recruits. Facebook now has the ability to offer NSA scale services, with better data, to nations around the world.

John Robb

Principal Analyst at the Global Guerrillas Report: https://www.patreon.com/johnrobb (reader supported)

Featured in WSJ, NYTimes, Economist, Wired, Fast Company, CNBC, Fox, BBC… Consultant/speaker: DoD, CJCS, CIA, NSA, ODNI, Highlands Forum, Center for Biosecurity, Gov’t of Singapore, Oxford Analytical, and many more.