Image: Shutterstock; Composition: Motherboard

Facebook is Now Rating Users Black Mirror Style

With Facebook exploring things like dating and blockchain, ever wonder if they start to become like this black mirror episode?We can opt out of Facebook’s ecosystem of apps with difficulty, but in China their national social credit system with real punishments is ramping up to launch in 2020.

Facebook however is doing some highly questionable things. According to Motherboard and the Independent, in an effort to fight fake accounts and misinformation, Facebook is implementing a scale that ranks users’ trustworthiness from zero to one.

I’ve lost trust in Facebook of late, but it has the nerve to rank my trustworthiness? That’s just messed up and shows the lack of a moral compass in Silicon Valley has gotten out of hand.

I think Facebook has contributed enough to human judgement to last a lifetime. Growing up on these platforms the social comparisons are brutal, relentless and probably caused us some sort of internal damage. For them to be rating us with their predictive algorithms then is just really perverse.

Ranking systems are a cornerstone of how you enslave people to a gamified design of a product. Amazon to Yelp, to IMDB, is fine in theory, but ranking systems that use people should really be against the law. Already Instagram runs on pure vanity which is damaging enough to our psyche.

So this is how it begins, eh? First reported by the Washington Post, Facebook is implementing a new ranking system that will rank users’ trustworthiness on a scale from zero to one. The company claimed that this ranking system is an effort to fight misinformation spread by fake accounts.

Until now, the development of the ranking system has been kept a secret to prevent bad actors from figuring out how to game the system, Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons told the Post.

I think, in 2018, we’ve realized the bad actor in all of this is Facebook itself. Making our data available to 3rd party apps to harvest it and giving away our data to the top tech companies in the world, even Huawei, that the U.S. government considers a security risk — Facebook is the first company to trade our own private data for profit in quite this way; so lacking in human dignity.

The site is using an array of information to decide whether its users should be believed when they say something wrong is happening on the site. I’ve been basically locked out of doing Ads on Facebook; perhaps writing about Facebook itself lowers your score.

There’s no excuse to rank people Facebook: using misinformation as an excuse to do so in itself inexcusable. Facebook product people think it’s okay to make a Messenger for Kids to addict them to your product; or that ranking people’s trustworthiness with AI is okay. However, how do we rank Facebook’s policies or Google tracking us without our permission in a world of unregulated AI? The consumer increasingly is becoming a slave to the system, not exactly what capitalism or democracy was supposed to feel like.

Why would I rank news on Facebook, if it helps Facebook rank me? That’s like me giving my genetic data for a simple report to a company trying to get a genetic database by nefarious means. Without regulating AI and censoring how Tech companies behave, there’s no limit to how black mirror is coming true.